As we enter 2017, many of us start to think about our plans for the coming year. We normally create New Year Resolutions to aim for a new and improved version of ourselves. On a New Year’s day walk yesterday, it got me thinking about what would Travel Retail’s resolutions would be for 2017. Here are some ideas….

Resolution 1 : Be Brave, Take Risks

For many years, Travel Retail has been operating in its own bubble. It has been protected by continuing growth in passenger numbers. It has had the benefit of Russian & Chinese passengers spending much more than any other nationality, making them lucrative. Now, those days have passed. The industry now needs to re-think.

I believe it is time for the Travel Retail to be brave and take a few risks. When I was at Dixons Group, we would discuss performance on a Monday at the trading meeting, make decisions, sign off the POS etc on the Wednesday and it would be in store nationally by Friday night ready for the weekend.

Indecision will be the thing that will kill Travel Retail.

Looking back, Dixons Group did some things wrong and some things right. The point is, they acted. To borrow a phrase from Nike, sometimes you need to “Just Do It”. This of course is linked to Resolution 2…

Resolution 2 : Test & Measure

If you take action, measure it. Answer the following questions… Did it work? Didn’t it work? Why? Would it work somewhere else?

Think about this for a moment. You probably spend thousands on promotions, staffing, fixtures etc. How many companies work out what all that effort has achieved? In reality… not a lot. We have been helping companies find out. We work out what works, what doesn’t and help them move forward.

Test & Measure will allow you to invest in the right promotion at the right place at the right time. The beauty of TR is that it is high traffic and therefore allows you to gauge the response very quickly.

Test & Measure will deliver better decisions tomorrow.

We help companies squeeze every bit of insight from their data. If you need help, please contact me for a no obligation conversation.

Resolution 3 : Embrace Digital

In a previous post I stated that Digital was not the solution everyone thinks it is. I stand by that. I am not going back on my point here by saying Embrace Digital. Personally, I see Digital as a vehicle for marketing. Just because you build an app, have a website or enable pre-ordering, it doesn’t mean that people will come. Marketing will need to play a key role. Marketing will still need to be the engine but powering a different method of transport.

I believe that there is a new horizon for digital. There is something that will change the retail market significantly. I believe it can put Travel Retail on the map and I will be discussing this (and hopefully demonstrating it) in the coming weeks. If you have a product that is in Travel Retail and you want it to be promoted, get in touch with details of:

  • The product
  • How you want it to be positioned
  • What is the marketing message you want to get across

Resolution 4 : Become More Efficient

Amazon are kicking everyone’s behind because they focus on efficiencies on a massive scale. Within Travel Retail, there are some huge wins available, one of them being Space Planning. By now, every retailer should have a space planning department. Space planning delivers significant benefits to a retailer. It is often the small and overlooked cog in the wheels of retail commerce but benefits (if embraced wholeheartedly) can be enormous. Some of these benefits include:

  • More efficient use of space
  • Improved sales growth (above and beyond passenger growth)
  • Improved return on stock investment
  • Reduced stock room requirements
  • More efficient replenishment
  • Improved margins
  • …. I could go on.

Space planning is not just the domain of retailers though. Brands can influence their space and the category space if done correctly. We can guide you on that.

Resolution 5 : Embrace Collective Learning

Regional teams now need to think globally. This means you need to work cross functionally, incorporate benchmarking, understand how others have done things and the key learnings achieved. The brands that win in the future will be the brands that become a learning organization. To do this, companies should:

  • Become a GLOBAL team rather than a regional team
  • Share key learnings across the business
  • Accept that failure is a part of the learning process (you didn’t learn to walk without falling over once or twice, business should be the same)
  • Create a sense of friendly competition within the business
  • Provide the tools for learning anytime, anywhere
  • Collaborate with other brands in other categories

As with any resolutions, it is difficult to stick to them without a clear plan so I have created some actions that will help….

Action Steps


Taking these steps will certainly set you on the path to completing these Travel Retail resolutions.At One Red Kite, we help companies succeed. We help in the following way:

We turn data into something meaningful.
We help bring the shop floor closer to brands and retailers.
We help create an optimised retail experience through:

  • Space Planning
  • Assortment Planning
  • Category Management
  • Training
  • Digital
  • Mystery Assessments
  • Focusing on quality and value

In 2017, we will be delivering some of the most cutting edge tools that will transform Travel Retail. Don’t miss out. Contact me at or complete the form below:

As ever, thank you for reading. Have a wonderful 2017.

Best Regards