Well travelled

At Veuve Clicquot, the clever Journey Collection concept has been revisited and extended with “exciting digital innovations,” says De Fontaines-Guillaume. “Our selection of cities gift boxes has been revamped to include a digitally connected NFC tag and QR code, allowing consumers with all types of smartphones to discover the Veuve Clicquot world online. They can then immerse themselves in a 360° film, travelling to the maison’s iconic addresses, either on their smartphone, or with a VR mask available in airports.”

This all works because people have more time on their hands at airports and for the digitally savvy millennials, who may not have the time to visit the maisons or see the vineyards, it’s a way for them to connect with heritage and ‘savoir faire’. “It’s the future of tradition,” she says.


As the holiday gifting season approaches, Moët will be introducing an “enchanted limited edition”, which will have a ‘glittering’ on-shelf impact and be shown to its retail partners at Cannes TFWA, during which travellers passing through Paris Charles de Gaulle and Nice airports will also see the new Ruinart activation, showcasing ‘the exotic singularity of Ruinart Rosé’.

“Our consumers are looking for memorable experiences and exclusive offers, as well as limited editions and personalised offers. The travel retail market serves as an experiential laboratory, boosting brand desirability and bringing our maisons into direct contact with the travelling consumer.” It’s clearly a great testing ground for new ideas that may later find a wider domestic application. “Innovation working in partnership with retailers is a key part of the approach in meeting the challenge of driving footfall,” De Fontaines-Guillaume says.

Innovation has long been a strength of Piper Heidsieck and now owner EPI has reorganised distribution and addressed important issues about the brand’s positioning in top domestic markets – travel retail is an obvious place to underscore that repositioning. Benoît Collard, executive vice-president of Piper-Heidsieck, says: “We spent 2016 reviewing the way we want the brand to communicate and reveal itself, to better emphasise the quality of the house. After a year of planning, 2017 is about putting that plan in place and we are already seeing some great results.”

Demand reflects the strength of domestic markets and for Piper the most important hubs are Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt and Hamburg. “I’d include Australia here, as the [domestic] market there is also very strong. Then there are hubs whose importance goes beyond the domestic markets, places such as Dubai and Hong Kong, for example.” says Collard.

“Travel retail business was built on the duty advantage historically with deals and bargains and this demand still exists in certain places. That’s why ‘arrival shops’ are still important for business in some locations.” But he also notes the wider travel retail experience has changed radically as modern stores have become a shop window for more premium products. “Travel retail outlets increasingly have a similar feel to them as premium department stores. We’ve given [retailers] the opportunity to list our premium wines, only available in prestige outlets, with the chance for some added value.” Not just ‘Rare’, Piper’s prestige cuvée, but also new wines such as Essentiel, the new longer-aged, lower-dosage, more elegant, Extra Brut blend aimed at the on-trade and up market department stores. Essentiel is already sold in Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Hamburg airports, says Collard. It has also released a lipstick-shaped, cool-box presentation picking up on brand themes of “seduction, glamour and celebration”, all aimed at pulling in the millennial audience.