pin Trends in travel retail during the Covid-19 pandemic

Trends in travel retail during the Covid-19 pandemic

In the midst of a continued growth of the travel retail industry, this trend came to an abrupt halt due to the sudden Covid-19 pandemic. This devastating health crisis severely impacted consumer travel spending across the world.

While still confronting this punishing challenge, but with the gradual resumption of business activities, travel retail operators are adapting their plans and goals to customer oriented initiatives, primarily focusing on visitors’ health concerns, as well as shopping comfort and convenience.

First and foremost

While the health crisis persists – and just like airlines, cruise ships and other facilities – travel retail stores have been already providing and ensuring sanitary processes and safety measures for their customers.

Consumers today are very aware and vigilant of places they visit. Travelers expect shopping environments to have in place preventive and protective practices that would safeguard their health and earn their trust, so they can have peace of mind during their shopping experience.

Online shopping

Another resulting trend. Due to the prolonged lockdown, having to stay home for so long, consumers have been satisfying their shopping needs and wants almost exclusively by online purchasing, which unexpectedly generated a dramatic increase in e-commerce activity. Interestingly, and consistent with the stay-at-home circumstances, the entertainment products led the way.

The Toys and Games category, for instance, had the largest percentage increase in page views (149%) and a 122% increase in order count, as registered in May by the “Bazaarvoice” worldwide shoppers network.1

In other cases, some brands have been significantly increasing their sales, as a result of the intermittent lack of product availability of competing more popular and widely recognized brands.

In view of this “new normal”, and adhering to it,  some of the travel retail operators who provide an online ordering platform, have been actively trying for - and in some cases achieving – a level of sales relatively close to, or at, business sustainability.

Perception and Sustainability

It’s worth noticing that the growing predilection by a great number of consumers, namely Millennials, for environmentally friendly products and services, continues to be one of their purchasing considerations. In response to this ongoing tendency, brand innovation and retail guidelines are being acted on, in a sustainable manner.

According to the Consumer Insights Report issued by the Swiss research agency “m1nd-set”, Millennials lead objective purchasing in travel retail. This report also indicates that 91% of this generation and 84% of all interviewed shoppers around the world agreed that such eco-friendly initiatives, if sustained, will have a positive impact in their perception of a brand and the places where it’s being presented for sale.2




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