The Moodie Blog in India – Day 1: Cochin

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

The Moodie Report – and, of course, The Moodie Blog – are back in India, beginning a five-day whistlestop tour of this amazing country.

Tonight I arrived via Singapore to Cochin International Airport, gateway to beautiful Kerala and home to Alpha Kreol, India’s longest-running duty free success story.

Despite the late hour (well after 10p.m) I was greeted by no fewer than three of the Alpha Kreol management team and welcomed with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

That’s typical of the famous Keralite hospitality. And they weren’t the only flowers on show. The Onam festival is under way and the huge Alpha Kreol Arrivals shop is adorned with gorgeous yellow flowers.

Onam is Kerala’s biggest festival (it marks the homecoming of legendary King Mahabali) and besides showcasing the best of the state’s culture and traditions, it offers a huge retail opportunity for Alpha Kreol.

To maximise that opportunity Alpha Kreol is running a neatly named Shopping ‘Car’nival promotion. Any consumer buying anything from Cochin Duty Free between 1 August and 31 October has the chance to enter the draw to win one of three Hyundai cars on offer during the campaign. ‘Walk in Cochin Duty Free. Buy anything. Win a car’ runs the tagline.

There will be plenty of takers. Some 95% of buyers at Cochin Duty Free are returning workers from the Middle East and many will be tempted by the opportunity to win a car.

Tomorrow we’ll take a tour of the whole retail complex but even from a quick whirl around the aisles late tonight it was clear that this is a very effective retail operation indeed.

The sponsor of The Moodie Blog – Mars International Travel Retail (whose Galaxy display is pictured below) – recently named Cochin International Airport Alpha Kreol as its inaugural Indian Duty Free Retailer of the Year, while the liquor business is also prospering. The category represents around 58% of the mix, and buoyed by ultra-competitive pricing and intensive promotions, sales are flourishing.

We’ll bring you more from Cochin – and then Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai – later in the week as The Moodie Blog returns for the third time in a year to India.

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