Why convenience is the key to success in duty-free retail

Sydney Airport's domestic terminal department store set to take flight in 2023. Supplied.
Sydney Airport’s domestic terminal department store set to take flight in 2023. Supplied.

In the lead-up to our upcoming Inside Retail Academy, IR sat down with Heinemann Australia managing director Richard Goodman to discuss how retail leaders should be preparing for next generation retail.

Inside Retail: You will be on a panel at IR Academy 2019 which will explore how retailer’s top executives are preparing for 2029. What are you doing to prepare for future retail success?

Richard Goodman: The key word which comes to mind is convenience.

For us at the moment, we have a large passenger population who either want to depart as quickly as possible or purchase as seamlessly as possible when departing. So, for us, it’s all about using innovation, technology and entertainment to achieve that timely and seamless outcome for customers.

We have spent a lot of time recently going back over what our core value proposition is and asking ‘Why do people buy duty free?’. The answer is one portion buys on price, another portion impulse buys, others are wanting to buy a staple favourite to stock up on and others are simply buying a gift.

We as retailers focus a lot on price but not necessarily on the other key areas, so for us it’s about taking price off the table and looking for other points of differentiation. If you have a look at the likes of David Jones and their recent collaboration with Walt Disney they haven’t focused on discounting at all in any of their promotions.

IR: What does the term ‘next generation retail’ mean to you?

RG: Next generation retail … I see there’s a continued evolution towards ‘complementary services’ – solid online services supported with bricks and mortar. There’s always a place for in-store experience, but it needs to manifest itself in a way that really justifies the inconvenience of coming in to the shop.

IR: What do retail leaders need to do now to prepare for 2029?

RG: Firstly, understand who you are, why you are here, what your purpose is, what your value proposition is and be sure to focus on each, not one singular.

Secondly, don’t solely rely on one platform. Whether it’s in-store or online, to build your businesses they need to be complementary and seamless. If you have different user experiences or one versus the other it just doesn’t work.

Thirdly, ensure that your approach to CSR and sustainability is actually embedded into the core of your business through philanthropy, organisational process and diversity.

Inside Retail Academy 2019 will bring together retailers to connect and hear from world class industry leaders who will share their insights on ‘New Retail’ and expectations of the future consumer. It will explore everything from technology and marketing through to payments. Join us in Melbourne or Sydney! Please click here to find out how you can reserve you place now. We look forward to seeing you there.

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