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Travel retail - a trend to watch?

With high net worth individuals flowing through their terminals every day, it’s little wonder that airports, and travel retail in general, is creeping up the agendas of fashion retailers.

High footfall, both domestic and international, means that airports and even train stations can compete with shopping centres and high streets when it comes to fashion retail.

Luxury department store Harrods has certainly set its sights on growing its sales via travel retail, having opened a mini-department store this month at Gatwick.

And with Heathrow’s Terminal 2 scheduled to open next year, one can’t help but think this growing sector is going to become all the more important.

With property trade show BCSC looming, it will be interesting to see if this is one of the trends being discussed.

Of course that’s not to say it is without its limitations. Consumers on the move are unsurprisingly anxious about catching their flight, or train, so fashion retail is limited to accessories or garments that are easily tried on, and it’s hard to see how this issue can be overcome in the short-term. So product selection is key, as is the ability for staff to quickly remerchandise to appeal to the different nationalities flowing through at different points in the day.

But nonetheless, travel retail is undoubtedly growing in prominence within the retail strategies of fashion businesses.

And by any measure, a move from the government to relax the visa controls deterring many from visiting these shores will be a welcome change to the sector.

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