On location • Heathrow Airport

The 7 secrets of a beauty make-over

Perfumes and cosmetics remain dominant in the New Generation store – but they have a new and sharper edge, writes Kevin Rozario.

Beauty is the product category that has arguably gained the most following a head-to-toe revamp of Dufry’s World Duty Free store at London Heathrow Terminal 3. While there isn’t much more for perfumes and cosmetics in terms of a footprint – already quite hefty at 1,000sq m – beauty is now being retailed in a smarter way.

What are the main changes? Here is a quick guide.

1. Beauty has instant prominence. The previous walk-through duty free store at T3 – the only one at London Heathrow – showcased liquor on either side of the central aisle at the entrance. The over-2,500sq m New Generation store now features beauty prominently on the left at the approach, giving it equal visual weight to liquor.

Result: Passengers interested in the beauty category have been able to eye up the offer before entering the shop.

2. Structured layout. Beauty flows in a strategic way through the store. At the entrance is a generic area that highlights key campaigns such as discounted products and seasonal launches, followed by a premium area featuring fragrance brands that include Calvin Klein, Cartier, Bulgari, Gucci and Hugo Boss.

This gives way to the major three-axis brands such as Lancôme, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent and then a ‘Haute Parfumerie’ area and more.

Result: Clear differentiation of spaces, brands and offers.

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Playing the penetration game: Big brands, big space and plenty of consumer engagement

3. Heights of fixtures and fittings have been lowered. This has ensured that passengers can see the products ranges and brands across the floor from the central walkway right through to the backwalls. Not only can passengers find, at a glance, the brands they like – and anything else that looks interesting – but store staff have better eye contact that can lead to more interaction.

Result: According to WDF Store Manager at T3, Paola Rutigliano, the change has made the environment more relaxed, leading to more passengers stopping to look around.

4. Digital services step up. Counters from leading names in the market such as Chanel, Estée Lauder and Lancôme come equipped with technology that is making choosing a product easier. Chanel has digital screens that toggle to Chinese and other languages.

The large number of Chinese travellers at T3 in the evenings can therefore discover details of new products – particularly skincare – for themselves when the store is busy. Lancôme’s Magic Mirror technology enables customers to ‘try on’ lipstick shades at the press of a button and compare them by saving the images.

Result: Increased interest and interaction from passengers, particularly key target nationalities.

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5. New brands. The new generation store has brought in new names, all carefully chosen to fill specific niches such as Haute Perfumerie, and showcased for full effect. In this area, new to T3 are Acqua di Parma, Atelier Cologne, Bond No.9 and Diptyque, while in the Premium Skincare Zone a key newcomer is Hungary’s ultra-high end skincare line Omorovicza and natural beauty house Fresh (hugely popular with Chinese buyers).

Result: Genuine ‘newness’ always gets the attention of keen cosmetics shoppers and also gives WDF added kudos as an ‘expert’ in beauty.

6. Beauty runs the full length of the store. The category now dominates the space from beginning to end with more standout features and greater brand visibility for the top marques, making for a better browsing and shopping experience.

Result: The category has been allowed to flex its muscles more than ever in T3 translating into higher sales. So far, since the soft revamp began, there has been a double-digit increase in revenue according to Dufry Category Buying Manager – Beauty Suzanne Rudkin, with skincare showing even stronger gains.

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7. A first in European travel retail: Maison Christian Dior.

Dior’s ultra-exclusive scent collection was developed by the house’s own perfumer François Demachy with ingredients that are both rare and of the highest quality. This is reflected in the prices: £168 (US$221) for 125ml and £244 (US$321) for 250ml, both edps. The collection was inspired by Christian Dior’s own love of cultivated flowers in the garden of his Château de La Colle Noire near Grasse.

Result: A global USP for Dufry that is resonating particularly well with Middle Eastern travellers.

The Moodie Davitt Report • The Online Magazine • October 2018