TRP Travel Retail Style Index: May 2021

Tiffany & Co Blackpink Rosé ambassador

Welcome to the latest travel retail column for DRG by Alison Farrington aka The Retail Planner (TRP).

This month’s highlights come from a purposeful social retail pop-up in Hainan, a luxury hometail makeover and the latest TikTok trend.

1/ SOCIAL RETAIL. Societal pressures are the focus for a new type of phygital pop-up courtesy of Japanese skincare brand SK-II that has debuted a retail-tainment destination in the Haitang Bay Duty Free Shopping Centre in Sanya, Hainan.

The pop-up is an immersive representation of the P&G-owned brand’s new SK-II Studio animated anthology series called VS. The film and retail campaign aims to highlight career pressures faced by women and viewed through the experiences of six athletes taking part in this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The VS series pop-up makes its global debut at the Chinese duty free hotspot. A key attraction is the contactless skin counselling technology, the Mini Magic Scan, that is powered by an AI skin analysis tool and allows visitors to “understand their skin strengths and potential” while they reveal their skin age and receive personalised skincare recommendations.

While customers line up to purchase their SK-II products they can interact with the installation to unlock exclusive WeChat mini programme content designed to engage visitors. This includes an AR experience to take part in a VS kaiju battle alongside the Olympic athletes included in the films.

TRP Takeaway: SK-II has tapped into a powerful pre-Olympics marketing dynamic that raises the issue of social acceptance of success. This is a clever phygital interpretation of pop-up retail and complements the brand’s new VS series to inspire every woman that they have the power to #CHANGEDESTINY.

A duo of K-pop and C-pop influencers have taken on global brand ambassador roles for Tiffany & Co as the jeweller invests in the burgeoning hard-luxury market in Asia.

Blackpink’s Rosé (full name Roseanne Park Chae-young) fronts a new ad campaign for the brand’s latest HardWear collection (above). In the new digital campaign, Rosé wears the collection’s chunky 18K gold gauge link necklaces and pavé diamonds. “I love how bold and chic you can look. I’m very interested in layering my necklaces these days,” she tells Vogue.

With more than 70 million followers on Weibo, Yi Yangqianxi, also known as Jackson Yee and as a member of boy band TF Boys is one of C-pop’s biggest stars. Yee has been promoted by Tiffany & Co from regional ambassador in China to a global ambassador role with the hope the Chinese star will cross over to Western markets.

TRP Takeaway: Tiffany & Co’s new parent company LVMH is investing in targeting Gen Z and Millennial digital audiences, especially through an Asia luxury lens.

One silver lining of the pandemic has been luxury retail renovations, while physical stores have been closed. Two of Value Retail’s best known outlet malls, Bicester Village (Oxford, UK) and Fidenza Village (Milan, Italy) have had makeovers to allow customers to make personal shopping appointments at the VIP Apartments and with concierge sales specialists via Zoom or WhatsApp video calls. Interior designer David Thomas redesigned the VIP Apartment spaces into themed rooms, each of which can be used for private events, online or offline. At Fidenza Village, the design brief was: “Imagine [Luchino] Visconti’s [1963 film] ‘The Leopard’ – the art and the art scene. This is the apartment of an eclectic woman who loves collecting art, she travels and brings her collections home and is an avid book reader.”

Value Retail says the result is that the location has maintained “a very strong pool of luxury consumers who would generally be traveling around the world but who were obliged to stay home.” I’m crossing my fingers and booking a flight to Milan.

TRP Takeaway: As VIP ‘clienteling’ gets a tech makeover, it’s clear luxury marketplaces need to play catch up. And with global travel looking more likely to resume in the second half of 2021, destination marketing will play a key role in luring high spending customers, who are used to shopping in a home environment.

Headscarves? Yes! For its latest GG Multicolour capsule collection drop, Gucci has jumped on the latest #PleaseDontGo TikTok trend for headscarf wearing (with pets) in cars. I love the humour and adaptability of Gucci’s new digital advertising remit and the luxury brand’s latest TikTok campaign feels more in tune with this community’s way of doing trends than previous efforts, that were rather Gucci-fied.

TRP Takeaway: Luxury brands are flexing their creativity especially for Gen Z digital trends.

PLUS, ICYMI…Vogue Business says the trend for beauty brands such as SK-II to create their own content marks a bigger shift for the ad industry and it points towards purpose marketing…Chinese are flocking to resort island Hainan where thanks to increased duty free allowances, sales are expected to double in 2021 for the second year in a row…Hainan is the location for a new DFS duty free retail complex in Haikou Mission Hills and will be completed in phases over the next two years, eventually spanning over 30,000 sq. m, including the largest beauty hall in DFS’ global store network.


This post is contributed by DRG retail editor, ALISON FARRINGTON, who is a freelance travel retail industry journalist. Read her previous posts on Disneyrollergirl here.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Alison Farrington
IMAGE: Tiffany & Co
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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