Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


Shop Autonomously at Hong Kong International Airport

3 weeks ago

Lagardère Travel Retail has launched its first completely autonomous store, Travelwell, at Hong Kong International Airport.

The contactless store, which has been designed to offer passengers a convenient shopping location to complete any last minute purchases, utilizes an Artificial Intelligence technology system to track shoppers and products to ensure an accurate and safe shopping experience. 

Credit: Lagardère Travel Retail/Hong Kong International Airport

When entering the 88 sqm store, customers will simply need to tap or insert their credit card at the payment terminal and then continue their shopping experience as normal. As they exit with their chosen items, the credit card will be charged thanks to a number of algorithms tracking movements around the store.

However for those who may struggle with this new shopping experience, there will be staff and visual guides on-site to provide guidance. 

Credit: Lagardère Travel Retail/Hong Kong International Airport

Lagardère Travel Retail says it has been working with the airport on the concept store since 2019, and believes Travelwell will offer ‘a new kind of shopping experience’.

“We are grateful to have benefitted from the support of the Airport Authority Hong Kong and of business partners to pioneer this technology-led, innovative new store. Our Travelwell store and the beautiful Sky Bridge are a natural fit to each other. I hope the new shopping experience will appeal to travelers and become a memorable part of their journey. This project represents a key milestone in our ambitious roadmap to innovate to elevate the traveler shopping experience,” said Séverine Lanthier, Asia chief operating officer & group chief strategy and development officer at Lagardère Travel Retail.

At the 2023 Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking to celebrate the projects that are defining the future of airports and the traveler experience.

If you have an exciting initiative to share, head over to the Skift IDEA Awards website today and start your submission. Don’t delay, the entry deadline is set to end June 20.

Mergers and Acquisitions

It’s Official, A New $6 Billion Travel Retail Giant is Born: Dufry Buys Autogrill

11 months ago

This deal has been rumored and in the works for many months now: Switzerland headquartered travel duty free and retail firm Dufry has agreed to buy Autogrill from Italian billionaire Benetton family, creating a new $6 billion player in the travel retail market, reports Bloomberg. The combined group will have 5,500 outlets at around 1,200 airports and other locations.

From the release announcing the deal: Upon completion of the transaction, the combined group will adopt a new name with a new identity. Edizione, which currently owns a 50.3% stake in Autogrill, will become the largest shareholder of the new group, of which it will hold a stake of approximately between about 25% and 20% at the end of the transaction, depending on the level of subscription to the mandatory tender exchange offer.Juan Carlos Torres and Xavier Rossinyol will be respectively Executive Chairman and CEO of the new group.




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