Dazzling with the destination offer

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One of the glaring deficiencies in many airport retail offers is the lack of attention given to destination products – creating a strong Sense of Place not only in design but also in how the shelves are stocked helps, we believe, deliver a point of difference, one that consumers are more likely to respond to.

One retailer aiming to redress that balance is The Nuance Group (Malta), which has not only opened a 140sq m destination store  at Malta Airport’s new terminal – but is also devoting serious space inside its main core category outlet to the best local products.

The retailer believes that destination items can induce similar spending on impulse as, say, confectionery. Position a high-quality local offer close to the tills, ensure it is well merchandised and displayed, and travellers coming to the end of their holidays will flock to it.

We think it’s an approach worth championing. Take the space devoted to Cordina, a high-class local range of food and wines.

Nuance has given the brand its own display (above) right in the heart of its walk-through store, close to the high-end chocolates section – and the brand has responded by providing its own sales ambassador – a rare example of destination retailing using a brand consultant.

It’s an approach based on volume rather than margin – not a guaranteed winner with 1.5 million departing passengers a year by any means – yet consumers appear to be responding with their wallets. Destination items can work, insists Nuance – and it set to reinforce that attitude shortly by replacing some of its traditional international wine offer with more Maltese products – aimed at showcasing the island’s excellent, though relatively undersold wine industry.

We think this is an investment – and a retailing attitude – that is daring and imaginative – and one that richly deserves to succeed.

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