According to a report published by ReAnIn, the global airport retailing market was valued at USD 30.2 billion in the year 2021 and is projected to reach USD 82.3 billion by the year 2028, registering a CAGR of 15.4% during the forecast period. A majority of the retail channels operating at airports are duty-free and hence, can sell products at a much lower price. The increasing number of international travelers, availability of luxury items at a significantly lower cost at airports, and growing focus on digitalization are leading g drivers for the global airport retailing market. For instance, in October 2020, Dufry AG, a leading duty-free retail channel, entered into a collaboration with Alibaba Group to jointly develop the travel retail business in China and enhance Dufry’s digital transformation. COVID-induced travel restrictions were the most significant barrier to the growth of airport retailing in the recent past.
Duty-free and Travel retail: Digitalization has become a necessity in the post-COVID era
According to a study conducted in May 2020 among 1,500 international passengers (traveled in the last 12 months), 69% purchased items that stand out on the shelf/display/counter and 91% touched/looked at/read information on the product before making a purchase decision. However, the same study reveals that 60% of customers will avoid contact with retail staff, and more than 50% will not purchase at airport stores at all in the post-pandemic world. Furthermore, about 90% of customers expect more digitalization in the travel retail industry.
This need for increasing digitalization is accepted by the industry leaders as well. While speaking for the Global Industry Survey 2021 Dufry Group CEO Julián Díaz said – “The trend of increased digitalization and the need to strongly engage with customers through a multi-channel approach will increase. This means that travel retail operators will also have to go through a phase of digital transformation.”
Key Highlights of the Report:
COVID-19 pandemic forced governments across the world to implement some form of travel restrictions and air travel was the hardest hit. This COVID-induced restriction on air travel led to a significant decline in the airport retailing market. However, as the number of vaccinated people is increasing and air traffic is reaching the pre-pandemic level, the airport retailing market is also bouncing back.
Beauty and personal care product segment accounted for the majority of the share (about 50%) in the global airport retailing market and is expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period.
Currently, large-size airports have a majority of these retail channels, and hence, account for the highest market share. However, the number of medium-size airports has increased significantly in recent years, particularly in developing economies such as India and China, and is expected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
Among regions, Asia Pacific occupied the highest market share, followed by Europe and North America. The growing disposable income among people in the region, and the increasing number of airports are two leading factors driving the market in the Asia Pacific. The emergence of various online travel agencies has also contributed positively to this growth in the airport retailing market.
ReAnIn has segmented the global airport retailing market by:
Food and Beverage
Beauty and Personal Care
Middle East & Africa
Key players operating in the global airport retailing market are Dufry AG, Lotte Duty Free, Lagardere Travel Retail Group, DFS Group, Duty Free Americas, Gebr. Heinemann SE & Co. KG, King Power International Group, Dubai Duty Free, WHSmith, China Duty Free Group, and The Shilla Duty Free.
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