Aelia Duty Free: Very nice in Nice

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.
Martin Moodie

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If you wanted to showcase your skills to the worldwide travel retail industry, you couldn’t choose a more conspicuous location than Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. The airport is not only the gateway to one of the world’s great tourism regions but, of course, it is the prime entry and exit point for the near 7,000 visitors who attend the TFWA World Exhibition each October.

Like me, I’m sure that many of those visitors to this month’s show took a particularly close look at the airport’s impressively diverse commercial offer. In the case of the Aelia Duty Free store in Terminal 1, you can’t help but look at it, given that it’s a walk-through environment capturing 100% of passengers post-security.

Not immediately post-security, I hasten to add. First, passengers enter an immersive hallway featuring some stunning digital advertising courtesy of JCDecaux. This is airport advertising of the highest order, using the power of digital media to bring brand messages to life in an engaging and hi-tech way.

If that’s an impressive appetiser, then the main course is simply ravishing. I’ll let the pictures tell the story, which they do very well. Here’s a retailer demonstrating its understanding of Sense of Place, destination merchandise, wine (what an atmospheric department), spirits, beauty and particularly gourmet food, as well as any you are likely to see in travel retail.

I love the simplicity, vibrancy and brightness of this store. It may not have the sunshine but it still manages to capture the very essence of the Côte d’Azur. Nice? Very nice, I’d say.

Great chocolate brands like Valrhona anchor an eclectic gourmet area
Some of the world’s greatest wines, presented as they should be, lying down in a temperature-controlled thermidor

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