Face to face

27 August, 2008
Page 12 
== Laurent Cosson ==

The new commercial director of Maxxium Global Travel Retail

What has been your greatest achievement?

Most recently the launch of A bsolut Pears in the global duty-free and travel retail market springs to mind. We had to turn everything green . I worked with the team at V&S A bsolut Spirits and the Maxxium GTR country managers. The greatest challenge was to organise and coordinate the launch in May in major airports such as Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris and Dubai. I also developed tools to improve the visibility of the product - including a stress ball in the shape of a pear.

What is your greatest strength?

My flexibility and pragmatism. I am also a true team player.

What concerns you most about the beverage industry?

The security issues relating to on -board carriage of liquids are a concern to everyone - the threat of confiscation in transit is a serious disincentive to passengers to make duty -free purchases.

What one up-and-coming trend do you think is important but maybe overlooked?

The strength of the female market, particularly young fashion-conscious, working women with high disposable incomes, should not be underrated by brands.

What is your favourite drink? 

Champagne! I was born in Reims, so it's always been close to my heart. A glass of Champagne can turn a normal day into something special. I also love Plymouth Gin .

What do you buy/bring home when you are travelling

I enjoy shopping - clothes, chocolates, cosmetics for my wife - and with little time, airport shops are convenient. From a professional standpoint I check windows, the way products are displayed, especially in the luxury brands shops, as we may use similar "artifices" when we promote our products.

What do you do to relax?

When travelling, I walk and try to feel the beat of the city I am in. When home, I enjoy museums, antique shops or art galleries. The advantage of Amsterdam is the proximity and the diversity - from classic painting to avant-garde art - there's always something to discover.