Duty-free shopping centers across airports globally are a destination rarely missed by frequent travellers - be it families, couples, business travellers, or solo backpackers. The idea of shopping tax-free is one which appeals to and also cinches the deal for most, especially when it comes to purchasing goods from the luxury industry. Studies have shown that the maximum revenues generated, hail from confectionary, cosmetics, and liquor, followed by fragrances.
Imagine an exhibition which houses all these duty free brands under one roof, thereby allowing brands to understand the travelling consumer behaviors, the changing buying trends, as well as the upcoming trends in vogue particularly for the fragrance and cosmetic brands. These then translate into meetings with the current and potential distributors and retailers who plan the production for the upcoming year.
The TFWA-Tax Free World Association-is a non-profit association of brands designed for the global duty free and travel retail industry. Hosted in France’s Cote d’Azur in Cannes from 29th September to 4th October this year, the exhibition boasts of the largest showcasing of traveller-oriented, premium brands from the industry calendar. Running successfully for 35 years in a row, this year's TFWA World Exhibition and Conference saw an eight per cent increase in the number of delegates over last year with a total of 7,531 visitors. The exhibitors too took advantage of the Cannes sunshine along the beachside Palais de Festivals which also saw an increase in the floorspace occupied by the 504 brands at 23,443 m² from last edition’s 22,759m².
The theme which resonated well with the ongoing trends in the industry, was innovation and the addition of the TFWA Innovation Lab was proof of that. Deemed as one of the most popular spaces of the exhibit, the Lab saw eminent experts debating on the need for sustainability, providing a compelling insight into the future of travel retail. This year’s edition saw over a 140 fragrance and cosmetic brands spread out over 11 Villages. With April 2020 paving the way for citrus-inspired, lemon scents, we came across some brands which highlighted this trend, amongst others. These include Maisons such as the French luxury brand of glassmakers, Lalique, their-newly launched fragrance for men, Jaguar. The perfume comprises of fresh, aromatic wooden notes fused with hints of bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit and orange. Another highlight was the Electric Purple Eau de Perfume for ladies which included top notes of grapefruit essence and blackcurrant at its heart.
The House of Zilli, a luxury menswear brand also announced their venture into the fragrance industry in collaboration with the Paris-based company Création Beauté International, who house a diverse portfolio of olfactive brands like Chantal Thomass, Agatha, to name a few, targeting all three segments, men, women, and children. The new Zilli collection, coming soon to India, comprises a strategic portfolio leaning towards warm, amber notes, emblematic of the leather and hide materials used by the Italian brand. These were also influenced by the President & CEO, Herve Josserand’s personal affinity for Italian style and fragrances. “I feel each man should have a collection of ten different kind of scents. It’s difficult to choose a particular scent, it usually depends on the mood,” he says.
Another leader from the Italian perfume industry present at the exhibit was Collistar, a 30-year old cosmetic and perfume brand, who are looking at entering the Indian market soon. Collistar is well-known for their profound knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry, and in particular the role technology and innovation plays on the retail side. One of the first cosmetics companies to launch a website way back in 1995, the Italian brand has been holding the crown as the market leader for 16 consecutive years. The TFWA, this year, saw the introduction of body care products by Collistar, for men, at an entry price level, ranging from affordable to premium. These sat quite well with the ongoing trend of grooming accessories which men are increasingly investing in - particularly the millennials.
The millennials, as they say, are the future. They are the consumer each brand is targeting right now, in order to convert them into a loyal customer. This also helps keep alive the DNA and quality style of brands, and allows them to experiment with the fast-paced consumer, whilst maintaining their quality and ‘mantra’ at the same time. This is beautifully represented by the Signorina Ribelle perfume, by Ferragamo Perfumes, created for the convenience of the travelling millennial. “In my opinion men should have at least three fragrances, which define their personality.”, says Luciano Bertinelli, CEO, Ferragamo Perfumes. “These should range between fresh, woody, and spicy notes,” he adds. He also touched upon the increase in men who are now moving towards cultivating their need for grooming, especially in India. “The taste is developing fast, and I see a huge potential in major cities of India, like Mumbai, Calcutta, and Delhi,” he comments. This trend can also be seen in the range of beauty care products being introduce by the six-year old Swedish brand, Foreo, for men. Available in 78 countries with around 11,000 point of sales, Foreo is known for their disruptive technology when it comes to contours for men. The Foreo Luna, for example, focuses on the contouring of facial muscles and works as an anti-ageing device by taking care of sagging muscles, making it the perfect device for men who are conscious about their looks.
The Indian consumer is increasingly becoming well-travelled, well-educated, and thanks to the integral role of social media in all our lives, well-equipped with the necessary products required for personal grooming. E-commerce too plays an equally crucial role in helping these brands reach out to their respective audiences. That being said, here’s to a more technologically-advanced, citrusy and fresh start to the new year 2020, with the new products making their way to our devices and, ultimately, our homes!
The writer is CEO AKLC, and Mission Delegate India Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), Geneva