Andy Morton at just-drinks has recently published an article entitled ‘The end is nigh for Global Travel Retail’.

The full article is available to just-drinks subscribers – please click here.

I was directly quoted on the article after a recent conversation with Andy during the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes in October 2016. This did not include the full extent of our chat, however he included extracts such as:

“With some retailers, there is almost a Tesco-isation of the Travel Retail market, where they are more focused on pure rotation and lower-end promotion,” says André de Almeida, William Grant & Sons’ former European TR director who now heads the channel for Scotch whisky distiller Loch Lomond Group.

According to de Almeida, brand owners look to GTR for its access to international consumers and the chance to “bring brands to life”. “The more like Tesco you become,” de Almeida says, “the less you can do that. And, the more pressure on commercials, the less money you have to work on activations, which is what you want to do.”

This indeed is my opinion; that the needs of each of the stakeholders within the Trinity have to be taken into account and brand owners cannot be expected to deliver competitive cost prices, increased innovation and more activation platforms and support unilaterally. There has to be a balance across the Trinity.

Equally, not every retailer behaves in the same way and there are plenty of GTR operators who respect the needs of the brand owners and work in partnership to deliver against their joint objectives.

Certainly, I for one remain positive about the future of the GTR channel and optimistic that the opportunities coming up will benefit all involved, possibly through a different model to the one existing today.

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