TRP Travel Retail Style Index: March 2021

Cho Gi Seok for CR Fashion Book

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

This month’s highlights are a new sustainability experience pop-up in Hainan, China as well as region-centric luxury launches in the Middle East and Asia that hint at a return to localised exclusivity.

1/ LANCÔME’S SUSTAINABLE PURPOSE. I’m impressed with the way Lancôme has translated its latest sustainability message of ‘Caring Together for a Happier Tomorrow’ into an interactive pop-up in Sanya, Hainan. The campaign space celebrates the launch of Lancôme Absolue Rose Soft Cream Refill Set amidst a sea of roses at the resort island’s China Duty Free shopping mall atrium.

Instead of the usual selfie-culture beauty-tech attractions, Lancôme has switched to an informative note. Once inside the pop-up, guests can create a virtual rose bouquet as a pledge to plant a physical rose at the company’s Domaine de la Rose farm in Grasse, France, or they are whisked away on a virtual bike ride around the rose farm while they learn about Lancôme’s renewable energy production. Afterwards the retail funnel kicks in at the Lancôme Absolue Rose Soft Cream refill programme where guest can collect an eco gift bag.

TRP Takeaway: Lancôme has set a new tone with its experiential pop-up that is designed to educate Chinese consumers about the virtues of recycling its luxury skincare products. And Hainan is the place to do it. The resort island continues to draw crowds, despite reduced numbers of Chinese travelling for the Lunar New Year break. Duty free sales here reportedly exceeded 1.5bn yuan ($231.2m) during the 11-17 February Spring Festival with more than 200,000 shoppers contributing to the spike in sales that were concentrated on cosmetics and perfumes.

Further to the fabulous Hermès bullet lipstick range, launched this time last year, the French luxury house has revealed its next beauty addition: blushes. Simplicity is a strong suit for the house and the name, Rose Hermès, reflects this sensibility. The upcoming collection,  launching mid-April, includes eight ‘Silk Blush’ shades that nod to iconic and classic Hermès silk scarf designs.

A clever note is that Hermès is setting its blush sights on its biggest market: Asia. Here, the range will launch with an exclusive shade, Rose Poivré, designed to appeal to the local market. The shade is “a pink of a Persian night enveloped in spices, vibrant yet discreet, soft, and elegant.” The blushes range will be sold alongside two brushes, a blush case, and three lip enhancers and looks to be very much in keeping with Hermès new found beauty expertise.

TRP Takeaway: Luxury consumers in Asia like to see brands offering tailored products and Hermès is showing us a masterclass in regional personalisation.

An intriguing look at Middle Eastern luxury style is on the cards courtesy of Net-a-Porter, that has just launched a dedicated site and app for the Middle Eastern market. Now including dual-language content in both Arabic and English, the focus is on local content creators and product curation. Collaborations with local designers and ‘personalised experiences’ will be supported by Net-a-Porter’s platform capabilities, says the company.

TRP Takeaway: I’m looking forward to a more opulent mood, no doubt to be embraced by Net-a-Porter’s local commercial and creative teams – showing us how Middle Eastern luxury consumers are increasingly demanding more curated offers.

I do love an immersive airport beauty retail experience and Qatar Duty Free is very good at delivering on this.

Travellers passing through Hamad Airport in Doha can shop a new selection of Chanel’s luxury fragrances at a dedicated circular retail space that is designed to make customers take their time over scent discovery. The Chanel Fragrance Laboratory has updated its innovative ceramic blotter system that runs along the store’s olfactive bar area allowing a much purer way of experiencing fragrance sampling by isolating it.

The intimate perfume space is centred around the Les Exclusifs De Chanel offer, including Le Lion*, a new addition to the collection and developed by Chanel’s Perfume Creator Olivier Polge. Le Lion is exclusive to Qatar Duty Free and is an opulent oriental scent that pays tribute to Gabrielle Chanel’s zodiac sign, Leo the Lion. It features an ambery mix of bergamot, lemon and labdanum, vanilla combined with balmy sandalwood, musk and leather notes.

TRP Takeaway: For the luxury shoppers at Hamad Airport, exclusivity is key. Chanel Fragrances has tapped into the need for Middle Eastern customers to immerse themselves in scent discovery in a walk-in yet discreet testing environment.

The latest edition of CR Fashion Book has an air travel theme and the shoot ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ (top) is an ode to the Chinese daigou way of life – all K-beauty sheet masks and luxury trinkets from Seoul…According to Vogue Business, the top three luxury brands that nailed their Chinese New Year digital marketing campaigns achieved higher engagement levels than others via authentic WeChat content…It’s out with the old and in with the new guard at Vogue China as Chinese-Austalian fashion influencer Margaret Zhang has been named editor-in-chief of the title, heralding a new era of influencer-commerce in the hands of the 27 year old, Vogue’s youngest global chief.

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: CR Fashion Book
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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