Making wine a winning category
There was a new addition to the Cannes calendar this year, as Wine O’Clock sought to champion wine in travel retail. At the centre of the well-received seminar was a relaxed yet candid panel session featuring Dubai Duty Free Manager Purchasing & Research Sharon Beecham, Gebr Heinemann Purchase Director Rüdiger Stelkens and Lagardère Travel Retail Head of Liquor Category Management Scott Hamilton.
Wine as a category too often goes under the radar in travel retail. Yet it is the 13th-biggest category for the world’s largest single airport retailer – Dubai Duty Free – putting it ahead of the likes of sunglasses, men’s fashion, souvenirs and precious jewellery. It generated €200 million in sales for Gebr Heinemann in 2018, while Lagardère Travel Retail is seeing “some really good trends” in the category.
These three retailers discussed what currently works well for the category in travel retail and what more can be done during a compelling panel session moderated by The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie at the first-ever Wine O’Clock seminar.
“In the last few years it has become a more and more interesting category across nationalities,” said Dubai Duty Free Manager Purchasing & Research Sharon Beecham. She added that the Chinese are currently the biggest nationality for wine sales with Dubai Duty Free, followed by Indians.
Gebr Heinemann, as a German company, has wine in its DNA. The retailer sold 20 million bottles of wine in 2018 and the retailer’s Purchase Director Rüdiger Stelkens added: “Wine has played and always will play a huge role for Heinemann.”
As a French retailer, the same can be said for Lagardère Travel Retail. Speaking about its global operations, Lagardère Travel Retail Head of Liquor Category Management Scott Hamilton said: “We are seeing some really good trends happening towards wine. Red wine, in particular, has been strong for us.”
The panel was challenged on the importance of staff training after research from m1nd-set, revealed earlier in the session, found that 54% of those that purchased wine in travel retail had interacted with sales staff and 43% of those that interacted said the sale was influenced by the sales staff.
“Once you get them talking, that’s when the real selling starts... I can’t champion expertise enough. We employ sommeliers and ensure they attend every training session, so they can pass knowledge on to the staff on our floor,” Hamilton said.
The panel also discussed the best business model for maximising the profitability of wine in travel retail. Stelkens commented: “We have to decide how much space we give to wine on profitability per square metre... it is a huge challenge and that is what we try to discuss with the wine owners.”
The importance of striking strong relationships with brand partners was echoed by Dubai Duty Free’s Beecham and Lagardère’s Hamilton.
Beecham said: “We like brands to partner with us for training for the selling skills, as well as about the wine because wine companies hold that knowledge of how to sell wine more than we do.”
Hamilton added: “We need to make sure we execute well together, whether interactively, through advertising or through social media, to get the consumer involved with the brand. We are the conduit for the brand and we need to pass the passion of the brands on to our staff.”
Championing wine: Dubai Duty Free Manager Purchasing & Research Sharon Beecham, Gebr Heinemann Purchase Director Rüdiger Stelkens and Lagardère Travel Retail Head of Liquor Category Management Scott Hamilton spoke with refreshing candour at the Wine O’Clock seminar
The Moodie Davitt eZine
Issue 269 | 15 October 2019
The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 20 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd).
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