Big in the Baltic

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This week The Moodie Report is back in one of our favourite travel retail markets – the Nordic region – where we’re chairing the annual Nordic Travel Retail Seminar.

Fittingly, in a tax free market that is so dependent on the cruise ferry trade, we’re being hosted by Tallink Group: the event itself takes place on board the company’s Silja Serenade ship today (Tuesday) while we’re docked in Helsinki. We then sail overnight to Stockholm, when delegates new to the cruise ferry experience will have the chance to see the power and excitment of this region’s tax free business in operation.

Last year I had the opportunity to travel this route with Tallink and I got to see at close quarters the incredible drawcard that travel retail represents, the vast power that promotions, and especially tastings, play in driving sales here, and intriguingly, the emergence of new consumer groups, such as the Russians and even the Mainland Chinese as shopping forces on board.

You get a flavour of how busy the shopping ‘streets’ on board Silja’s ships become from the lead image above, on the Serenade’s sister ship Symphony, with which I sailed last time. And that ‘street’ just houses the fashion and beauty outlets: the main tax free store is one level below, and there you’ll see a shopping frenzy in full flow.

I’m looking forward to seeing this all again first-hand tonight, as well as to the Seminar itself of course. Now though, I’ve got a boat to catch.

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