Xavier Rossinyol on the path to ‘Destination 2027’
An exclusive video interview with Dufry CEO Xavier Rossinyol, conducted on the eve of the event by The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie, was among the big highlights of day one.
Rossinyol spoke about Dufry’s ambitions to create an integrated, consumer-centric global ‘Travel Experience’ leader through the proposed merger with airport food & beverage sector leader Autogrill.
He said: “If everything goes as planned the closing should happen in Q1 2023. The combination will allow us to address all the needs and desires of the traveller from an end-to-end experience. Today we have duty free stores, branded stores, convenience stores and now we will have F&B. We need to remember one of the limitations in our industry is dwell time, so making a smart combination of the different parts of the offering will be a revolution.”
Martin Moodie introduces the exclusive video interview with Xavier Rossinyol for The Trinity Forum
He also touched upon maximising spend per head, the use of digital and enhancing the customer in-store experience.
“Travel-centricity is fundamental but the three parts of the Trinity rely on the passenger. For us, focusing on the consumer before anything else is the way to generate value for all the other three parties going forward.
“First we need to understand what the traveller wants through research. We are going to enhance our knowledge and increase our budget on that. We need to increase our offering through different places; the shops, our assortment, and on pricing. The good news is that today the retail industry, more than the travel industry, has advanced massively in terms of dynamic pricing. Using better tools means we can adapt what we do to meet the needs of the customers.
The Dufry view of the future: The interview that played at Trinity can be viewed below and via The Moodie Davitt Report online channels
“The key to success is to offer something customised for the passenger but it needs to be cost-efficient. Technology can help but the sales force remains an essential part of the interaction and experience with the passenger.”
Rossinyol went on to say that Dufry has been making major investments in the last year in digitalisation and its recent strategic joint venture in China with Alibaba Group will play a big part in that.
He said: “Alibaba has an understanding of China and the Chinese market second to none. Our idea is to keep building on what we have done so far but the priority of the collaboration is on following the Chinese traveller, in China and outside of China.
“We know there are limitations to fly right now but it will be one of the key driving forces in the industry over the next decade and this strategic collaboration with Alibaba will be instrumental in making a big difference.”
On the business model more widely, he added: “If we don’t change the way we operate in retail we will not have sales. The focus has to be on understanding the passengers and make an offer that can satisfy them. But this requires investment and innovation and it is not cheap.
“We are here to make money, the airports are here to make money, but our priority is to deploy innovation and use elements of retail and the digital revolution to make money.
“I hope the airports realise that this is about a partnership and it relies on everyone working together to increase the satisfaction of the passenger and spend per head. If your focus is a short term minimum guarantee then that is not the type of partner we want to have. We can’t mandate what the airports do but we can inspire them to do the right thing.”
*Click here for a wide-ranging interview with Xavier Rossinyol on these and many other issues, in our October Magazine.
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