Airports are the shopping malls of modern times and one of the most effective ways for luxury brands to engage target markets worldwide.
Walk through Terminal 4 at New York JFK International Airport in the coming days and it will be hard to miss the giant Tiffany & Co. box strategically designed to disrupt your walk from check-in to gate.
The signature blue box, a prominent symbol in luxury retail, directs travelers´ – specifically men’s – attention to Tiffany & Co.’s new luxury fragrance TIFFANY Eau de Parfum in the weeks leading up to Valentine´s Day.
The installation, executed by design and brand consultancy Bloommiami, is just one of dozens of pop-up projects luxury retailers are launching at international airports to capitalize on the flow of travelers.
“The activations we design are strategically positioned to disrupt traffic flow within the airport concourse. Passengers literally need to walk around them to get to their gates. This is very attractive to our clients,” explains Darin Held, co-founder of Bloommiami.
Bloommiami develops airport pop-ups for luxury retailers. It has worked with brands such as Carrera, LÓréal, Glenmorangie Whiskey, and Shiseido to design, build and execute pop-ups at international airports in Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Honolulu.
“Flying is seen as an exclusive and positive experience – while traveling, you’re allowed to indulge yourself – and this feeling is something that the brands of 2017 can take advantage of. For this reason, we expect to see growth in the demand for luxury products over the coming year,” said the advertising team at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, which was one of the first international airports to introduce pop-up shops.
Schipol expects a 10-percent to 15-percent increase in passengers from China, the United States and India – all of which are among luxury retailers´ target markets – in coming years.
And while China is especially keen for branded luxury shopping experiences, consumers across the globe are seeking out more ‘hands on’ shopping experiences as part of the coming tech backlash. Airports provide the time to indulge that desire.
Bulgari opened its first airport pop-up selling jewelry, watches and leather goods at Helsinki Airport in September. The pop-up is a result of a partnership with travel retailer Dufry and Finnish airport operator Finavia Corporation, which is specifically interested in catering to its growing Asian cliente.
“We focus heavily on the Asian market and hence, we have invested significantly in services especially for Chinese,” Elena Stenholm, commercial director and vice president of Finavia, said at the time.
“We want to offer our quickly growing Asian and international clientele a smooth journey and a high-class passenger experience, all under one terminal roof.”
Travelers can expect to see more luxury pop-ups in the future.
“There has been a shift in the global economy; Chinese and South American travelers now have more money at their disposal and are more mobile than ever. Our clients know this and strategically select major airports and travel hubs across the world that offer the highest opportunity to reach new market segments,” explains Held.
“Also, we are now able to sell product from the activations in many airports so there is immediate ROI for the brand.”
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Photo credit: Tiffany & Co.’s signature blue box will greet passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal 4 through Valentine's Day. Mark Grgurich / Bloommiami