Martin Moodie hosted a fascinating panel discussion on how Pernod Ricard is leading the way with consumer insights and providing shoppers with interactive, innovative and sustainable shopping experiences featuring: Insights Director Anuj Roy, Chief Sustainability Officer Vanessa Wright, Head of Retail Design Daniel Worboys, Travel Retail Asia Pacific General Manager Simon van Moppe and PIE Factory Sustainability Director Simon Evans.

Commenting on the emerging trends that will define Pernod Ricard Travel Retail’s recovery strategy, Insights Director Anuj Roy said: “The trends we said last year, about localised travel, the importance of cleanliness measures, the evolution of sampling, are all still very much valid. We are getting a clear direction on emerging trends as we begin our recovery journey.

“People are more fearful of quarantine than virus,” Roy added. “Trends on duty free behaviour are normalising, we’re seeing people are now more comfortable going to the store, spending time, sampling and engaging with activations. Clean retail principles are still important, basket size is increasing, and people are revenge buying. They haven’t travelled for a while – and now they want to maximise the opportunity and so omnichannel is crucial.

Insights Director Anuj Roy outlined Pernod Ricard’s new retail strategy which focuses on clean retail, digitalisation, retail theatre and sustainability

“We also see the rise of premiumisation,” he added. “They want to buy more expensive products because they don’t see the full range in the local market. In this light, newness and exclusivity are so important. In the last 12 months, we have redesigned our retail experience to focus on key pillars: clean retail, digitalisation, retail theatre and sustainability.”

Pernod Ricard Travel Retail also underwent an incredible sustainable transformation of late. Commenting on the biggest milestones, Chief Sustainability Officer Vanessa Wright said: “Sustainability and responsibility is fundamental for us at Pernod Ricard. It’s not new – we have a strong legacy in sustainability and see it as a key driver of our business. All of our products come from nature and agriculture and we really rely on these well-functioning ecosystems to produce our iconic brands.

“We see it as our duty to preserve these ecosystems that we live and work in. Having long-term relationships with sustainable partners is vital for the longevity of our business. In 2019 we launched our 2030 sustainability roadmap ‘Good Times from a Good Place’. This is built on four pillars: nurturing terroir, valuing people, circular making and responsible hosting.

Chief Sustainability Officer Vanessa Wright said that Pernod Ricard has successfully eliminated the use of all single-use plastics across 70 million products annually

Key elements of the Good Times From a Good Place Sustainability & Responsibility strategy at Pernod Ricard. The objective is to reduce carbon footprint and minimise waste.

We know that sustainability is a growing consideration amongst all consumers, and so we need to make sure we are listening to those needs. For us, sustainability is a driver of innovation.

“All the work we’re doing is key in helping us to reach our carbon emission target,” Wright added. “We talked about a -50% reduction by scope 3 and net zero by 2050. One of our goals is to reduce point of sale plastic and eliminate this by 2025, but we have accelerated this to 2021. Today, we have eliminated single use plastic for 70 million items. Another key project is the LifeCycle Analysis tool for merchandising which our travel retail department has introduced across all retail projects.”

Daniel Worboys described the LifeCycle Assessment Tool as a ‘game changer’ in Pernod Ricards’ retail design

Head of Retail Design Daniel Worboys expounded on how the innovative tool works and the implications this has for Pernod Ricard Travel Retail’s activities in the future. “Pre-COVID we’d produce around 1,000 retail projects are year,” he said. “Retail theatre is a key driver in the consumer journey. In the last 12 months, we’ve developed some truly unique experiences like our Martell boutique in Hainan, which offers an AI-driven, touchless tasting experience with a robotic bartender.

“We’ve also digitalised our fixtures by merging physical and digital worlds and incorporating that tech with our wallbays and gondolas. We installed ‘Wave and Learn’ technology which means that a traveller can now wave rather than pick up a bottle to trigger content on our displays. The LifeCycle Analysis Tool ensures that these experiences are in-line with our sustainable ambitions.”

The future of retail zones showcases innovative new marketing initiatives from Jameson, Chivas and Martell

The stunning Martell boutique in Sanya, opened in partnership with China Duty Free Group in January, was a key trial location for the tool in retail environments

“The LifeCycle Tool is the first analysis tool for retail design” he explained. “It enables our design team to develop designs across our full estate that meet our sustainable targets. It manages carbon footprint from inception to end of life and has a traffic light system to ensure designs are compliant with our environmental goals. It’s a game changer.”

The tool was developed in partnership with environmental design agency Pie Factory. Offering the agency perspective, Pie Factory Sustainability Director Simon Evans said: “It’s wonderful to be partnering with Pernod Ricard, who from the very start were thinking long-term.

“They weren’t looking for quick wins but were looking at the whole travel retail business to really understand where the key environmental impacts were and where we can make the biggest changes.

Evans added, “Projects like this are critical for the industry because travel retail has a relatively large footprint. Therefore, the brands that work within it have a responsibility and a huge opportunity to drive innovative change and make a difference.”

[Click on the YouTube icon to view dazzling coverage of the Maison Martell boutique with its all-digital façade; For those unable to access YouTube, please click on the version below hosted on The Moodie Davitt Report website.]

So – how is Pernod Ricard measuring the success of the tool? “Today we had big success with our Martell boutique at the CDF Mall in Haitang Bay,” Worboys said. “The design is very impactful, but it provides almost -19% reduction in our CO2 footprint and that’s thanks to the LifeCycle Analysis tool.”

Commenting on the Hainan opportunity, Travel Retail Asia Pacific General Manager Simon van Moppes added: “We had a unique opportunity to start from scratch in a market where white spirits weren’t being sold yet. Hainan is full of sophisticated shoppers and this is where our ‘one team’ approach to GTR really shines.

“We’re working with partners to build fantastic spaces that bring all different elements of clean retail, digitalisation and retail theatre all into one place. It’s so important to drive retail theatre these days. Consumer surveys show that in Asia 70% of Chinese travellers expect more exciting features and digital services and so Pernod Ricard needs to deliver.

“It’s not just about having a robotic arm, but how that is integrated into the whole consumer journey,” Van Moppes added. “This allows us to create a very personal connection with shoppers. In 2019, we were talking about footfall, now we’re talking about footfall and clickfall in equal measure. The convergence of digitalisation and physical retail for us represents a move away from omnichannel and into omni-theatre. Digitalisation is key to our future helping us to engage and delight travellers.”

Offering a final message, Van Moppes said: “I’m so excited for shoppers and travellers to experience the new locations we’re developing. Building all these retail experiences and creating opportunities to delight travellers is deeply intertwined with our care for the planet and everyone who lives in it. ‘Good times in good place’ is at the core of everything were doing. We see the sunny days coming back – and we’re ready and waiting.”

“We’re ready and waiting” — Simon Van Moppes