Inflight retail: End of the trolley model?

As travel demand continues to recover from the pandemic, engaging customers during the inflight phase and improving that experience have become a priority for travel retail. The question above was raised in an article recently published by ‘TR Business’ and addressed by industry experts as referenced herein.

Some retail operators predict that the trolley model’s impulse purchase is likely to develop in tandem with e-commerce sales, rather than disappear altogether. Oliver Gottschling, Dir. Inflight Sales at Gebr. Heinemann, says: “We firmly believe that physical onboard retail-and the trolley-will remain relevant”, as he personifies the future of inflight business as a perfect interplay between digital tools and onboard trolley sales.

Gottschling also commented on the positive signs of the inflight business’ increasing recovery, as airlines pay closer attention to ancillary revenues. Sharing that optimism, Zoe Farmer—Global Director Retail Management at ‘gateretail’ says… ”Boutique onboard is often very impulse driven, so if you have the right products available at the right price, it will satisfy demand and makes financial sense for both parties”

Among other inflight retailers, the article states, the long-running question still stands as to whether the trolley will be usurped by the e-commerce model, while they remain tight-lipped on the specifics of what we can expect to see available onboard, and when.

 

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