FRANCE. The Societé de Distribution Aeroportuaire (SDA) joint venture between LS travel retail and Aéroports de Paris (AdP) unveiled its latest major retail development at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CdG) Airport yesterday.
As reported, the new terminal – serving 7.8 million long-haul Skyteam passengers a year – houses a 6,000sq m premium retail environment that represents a new direction for Paris airport retail.
For LS travel retail the high levels of investment in brand engagement, service levels and design at the new operation are an important showcase for its recently revealed ambitious growth plan.
LS travel retail EMEA Chief Operating Officer Vincent Romet said: “This project is important for us in terms of visibility to brands and landlords, and also for our ambition in travel retail as a whole. The idea of LS travel retail is being materialised here and it gives a taste of what the company is prepared to do to grow worldwide.”
The company was also keen to stress that its achievements at Paris are not only due to the long-term, joint-venture model with AdP. Lagardère Services Chairman and CEO Dag Inge Rasmussen told The Moodie Report that subsidiary LS travel retail has a strong track record under both joint-venture and traditional concession models.
Rasmussen said: “We think one of our USPs is to be able to run joint ventures in a positive way so that our partners like to work with us, because we have the mindset of sharing ideas to grow.
“But it is not the only way. At Prague Ruzyne airport we acquired Unimex, for example, and using recipes we know from Aelia and LS travel retail we grew our market share from 40% to around 60% against competitors like Dufry Group.
“We believe in operational excellence. Compared to some competitors we invest more in capital expenditure and training. That makes the difference when we take over platforms from our competitors. We see growth, and we see growth even before modernising. It’s the marketing team putting in the right products, and the HR, putting in the right people and training them.”
AdP Retail Director Mathieu Daubert said that the new proposition – emulating Paris’ unique character and emphasising its luxury and retail credentials – represents the model for all future retail developments at Paris CdG and Orly airports. Next in line for treatment is CdG Terminal 2F, where the retail offer will be converted to a duty paid format at the end of the year, following the transfer of Air France and Skyteam international routes to Terminal 2E and S4.
The airport authority has ambitious plans to grow commercial space at the airport to 58,000sq m by 2015, with duty free space reaching 24,000sq m by then – representing a +35% increase in space between 2009 and 2015. And following the initial success of the strategy, it has revised upwards its sales per passenger target and hopes to surpass €19 per passenger by 2015, representing growth of +53% since 2009.
As revealed yesterday, the Buy Paris Duty Free core category retail brand, representing 2,200sq m in S4, has spawned two sub-brands – Buy Paris Collection (multibrand fashion) and Air de Paris (souvenirs) – each evoking famous Parisian department stores through internal architecture, brand personalisation and enhanced customer service.
The core category offer is supplemented by a 1,500sq m Avenue dedicated to luxury brand boutiques, featuring a mix of directly operated and concession outlets from some of the most prestigious French and international fashion brands.
Also featured are new concepts from news and books retailer Relay and multimedia specialist Fnac – following LS travel retail’s recent decision to partner it instead of Virgin in the electronics category. Former Virgin outlets at LS travel retail locations will convert to Fnac outlets throughout the year, with new openings planned in 2013.