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Airport launches unique male grooming retail concept

11-May-2005

A new concept for men is being launched at Heathrow's Terminal 1 this month, which will include a men's grooming area stocking and promoting leading personal care and cosmetics products, reports Simon Pitman.

A travel retail first will see a specialist men's grooming area being introduced by World Duty Free as part of the redevelopment and refurbishment of the famous airport terminal. The concept has been developed in response to the recent boom of men's grooming products, currently one of the industry's biggest growth areas.

With grooming times for younger males consistently increasing and the number of cosmetic and personal care products bought continuing to show strong rises in recent years, the concept could prove to be a sound idea.

Recent market statistics that show the European male personal care market - including skincare, personal hygiene, haircare and fragrance products - is expected to rise 18.2 per cent to €24 billion by 2008, according to Datamonitor.

World Duty Free, the retail division of British Airport Authorities, claims that this is a unique retail concept, which will offer a large range of men's grooming products.

The retail area is split into specialist product areas such as skincare and fragrance covering 279 square metre area of dedicated to merchandising to male customers.

At the heart of the initiative is a 'grooming workshop', created to offer expert advice on skincare and fragrance plus a dedicated men's bar that will offer hand massages and skin analysis for the more appearance conscious customer, the company says.

The workshop will also host specialist staff to offer product insight and education on the benefits of grooming.

Key business partners for the grooming area include Biotherm and Molton Brown who will all have dedicated areas to promote their products to air passengers.

Designed in keeping with the generic Molton Brown look, its retail slot will have a personalised wall area, a new concept for WDF, focusing on gift sets that have been specially designed for travellers.

On the other hand, Biotherm's biological skincare range will be housed within a personalised floor gondola, designed to provide good access to the company's complete product line.

New brands introduced to the store include American brand, Jack Black as well as the Nickel brand. Other men's beauty and cosmetics brands will include existing well known brands such as Clinique, Clarins and Zirh for men.

Mark Riches, Managing Director of World Duty Free, said: "We've identified another opportunity to talk to our male customers, who in the past, may have been inhibited about buying grooming products. This new approach says it's more than acceptable for men to care about their appearance and offers the usual expert advice that, at World Duty Free, we pride ourselves on.

It forms yet another dynamic development of our offer and provides a test bed for new product launches to evolve our understanding of what the male market requires in the grooming arena.

The entire area including the liquor offer sees us targeting the male market specifically for the first time. We look forward to seeing how the concept develops and we're confident it will enjoy great success."

The aim of the new store-in-store design is to offer what the company terms s a 'unique and pacey feel to really push the boundaries of unique retailing, specifically tailored to appeal to the male market'.

Adopting a slightly retro feel with a modern twist, materials integrated within the design will include leather and metal units, used to merchandise products, plus interesting and innovative props throughout the store including cubes, retro cars and even Action Men.

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