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One of the most experienced and respected executives in the travel retail sector was comparing notes with me the other day on airports that really stood out in terms of their commercial offer.
“Have you been to Zürich Airport lately?” he asked me, “Don’t you think it’s outstanding?”
I had and I do. I’ve been through Zürich twice in fact in the past few weeks (one the subject of an earlier Blog and maybe the most touching feedback I have ever received, scroll to the bottom) and on both occasions been deeply impressed by the scale, diversity and sheer excellence of the commercial offer.
Probably the question I am asked more often than any other (especially by newspaper journalists researching articles on duty free) is ‘What’s your favourite airport?’
I think in retail (both duty free and specialist) terms, Zürich has to be top three; while in food & beverage it touches one great height – Marché (see below, and excuse the image overload but it’s necessary to make the point about the outlet’s sheer brilliance), supported by a consistently good range of restaurants, bars and eateries.
I love the very Swiss clean lines of the airport, its brightness, efficiency and vibrancy. I love the way the concourse is used to good effect with consistently brilliant promotions. The Nuance Group duty free stores (Arrivals and Departures) are among the world’s best and there are some superb stand-alone stores.
I mentioned the quality of the promotions. During this week’s visit the one that stood out was from Italian winemaker Masi, syonymous with its great Amarone as well as other fine wines from the Valpolicella region.
The promotion, inside the Nuance Departures store, is in association with another great Italian name, Fiat, and features a gorgeous little Fiat 500 car in-store – surely a travel retail first. How many bottles of wine can you fit into a Fiat 500 (now wouldn’t that have been a great competition?)? Judging by this photo plenty.
Passengers who purchase a bottle of Masi wine are offered a voucher for a glass of Amarone at the Masi Wine Bar in downtown Zürich. The company is also offering free wine delivery, supported by Fiat, with every CHF300 (US$320) purchase of Masi wines.
The 120-seat Masi restaurant features a complete list of Masi wines, including Valpolicella Classico Bonacosta, Argentinian Passo Doble and Classico Mazzano Amarone from the Boscaini Private Cellar. [Look out for a major interview with President and Managing Director Sandro Boscaini, known as ‘Mr Amarone’, online and in an upcoming Print Edition of The Moodie Report.]
More on this story soon, but for now I’ll let every picture tell a story.