Speaking at the recent L’Oréal Travel Retail annual press conference, the company’s travel retail managing director Vincent Boinay noted that millennial consumers are driving change in the segment in particular, as well as those from China and Brazil.
A new retail hotspot
L’Oréal’s travel retail head noted that travel retail offers a unique opportunity to attract new consumers to brands, and can be used as an opportunity to plug brands to travellers who might otherwise not encounter them.
“The future is bright for travel-retail and we will be part of this story,” Boinay asserted. “We will grow in the future. Travel-retail is an image driver and also a recruitment tool. Many people discover brands when they are travelling.”
Valued at $63.5bn in 2014, it is predicted to grow to a mammoth $84bn by 2020, according to Fung Business Intelligence Centre, with Econsultancy noting that beauty accounts for “around a third of all travel retail sales”.
“As Heathrow Airport's new personal shopper service shows, airports have become more about the experience consumers can have before they get on the plane, rather than about the act of travelling itself,” Econsultancy noted in a recent blog post.
Makeup at the forefront
According to L’Oréal’s consumer product division general manager for travel retail, Stefania Fabiano, who also spoke at the conference, colour cosmetics are the strongest segment within travel retail, and again, suggests millennials are to thank.
“It will remain the fastest growing category [within beauty] in the next five years in travel-retail. This comes from new consumers, millennials and the selfie generation. They love to play and experiment, make-up is the ideal category for them. They are ultra connected, love tutorials and are becoming more expert,” she said.
Millennials are certainly big business. According to the Pew Research Center, they are ntow the biggest living generation in the US, for example, outstripping both baby boomers and Generation X.