The heeling power of Heathrow

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As the peak f&c launch season gets into its stride, The Moodie Report is once again on the road – and in the air. I write this Blog somewhere above the Atlantic, en route to New York City: one of my favourite places on the planet, alongside Louboutin HQ in London and, of course, Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Especially in a Welsh Grand Slam year…

The launch in question this week is Coty’s much-anticipated ck one color collection, more of which after the official reveal (and the embargo has expired). Until then I shall have to make do with sharing the pleasant experience I had at Heathrow today.

Bringing customers to heel with some magic merchandising

I admit, I have a soft spot for T5. I travelled through it on opening day (thankfully with hand luggage only) and since then have probably used it more than any other UK terminal. I like pretty much everything about it, from the fun and futuristic driverless Pods that transport you from Business Parking, to Mr Ramsay’s Plane Food restaurant (at one point I was on first-name terms with the main maître d, who would cheerily call out ‘the usual?’ every time I staggered through the door, bleary-eyed from yet another crack of dawn Essex start (Eggs Benedict and strong tea, if anyone’s interested).

Today, T5 was at its best. I cleared security in minutes (OK, it was Fast Track but there were no queues anywhere). A quick tour of the retail revealed there was plenty of bustle, but thankfully no hustle. Given my time constraints I focused on the main f&c offer. As ever, complementing the impressive range of brands was a wide variety of promotions and eye-catching displays.

I particularly liked the Kiehl’s corner, which looked fresh, bright and colourful; rated the make-over being done at the YSL counter; and was seriously tempted to purchase all three of DKNY’s new limited-edition Sweet Delicious trio, so mouth-watering was the merchandising. Jean Paul Gaultier’s Kokorico gondola also stood out, as did the colourful Jo Malone London Blooms display.

I was given excellent advice on translucent face powder by the BA on the Clinique counter (did I buy? Indeed I did.) And I was politely greeted, but not pounced on, by sales staff pretty much everywhere.

I observed – and shamelessly eavesdropped – on some excellent skincare advice and product recommendations being doled out to businessmen on the Lancôme, Clarins and Crème de la Mer counters. And was pleased to note that everybody bought at least a couple of items. Good link-selling, girls.

The highlight for me today, however, was the Kurt Geiger store. Yes, I know I like shoe shops every day of the week, but the innovative merchandising display suspended from the ceiling at the front of this stand-alone shop was stopping all sorts of travellers in their tracks. And luring them into the store. And persuading them to try and buy.

Was I among them? My LSS reads this Blog, so I couldn’t possibly say. But the key lesson I learned today is never under-estimate the pulling power of glittery stilettos that seem to be floating in thin air. Today’s display was simply superlative in terms of (literally) bringing customers to heel.

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