Travel Retail Buying Strategy - Bespoke Advantage

Building a Buying Strategy for Travel Retail

’Janet has a wealth of experience across retail, buying and marketing combined with broad sector knowledge of beauty, luxury goods and fashion. She conducted a full strategic review of our cross functional business and the travel retail market to develop a comprehensive buying strategy and quality control process that was presented and signed off at board level. Very approachable, strategic and analytical MD, Global Travel Retail Company

Developed a global buying strategy for a leading travel retail company supplying duty free products into over 170 airlines based globally.  This included developing a detailed critical path and bi-annual buying cycle to improve speed to market. Restructuring and rationalizing their product range to deliver a targeted customer-focused offer. Devising a quality control process for timeous delivery of products to agreed specifications. Introducing service level agreements and KPI’s to improve fulfilment, quality, and their bottom line.

Entrepreneurial travel retail company supplying beauty, gadgets, jewellery, fashion and wellbeing products into global airlines needed a formalised, global buying strategy. Airlines operate on a sale or return basis and the timings of trade shows and sales listings presented challenges with developing a defined product range tailored across a customer base. Improved communication between sales, product development and marketing was needed.


Analysed global sales by market, customer, product portfolio and supplier base to gain a better understanding of the company. Meetings took place with teams across the business to review processes for product development (private label), product selection (branded products) and licensed brands. Pricing, margins, quality control and suppliers were reviewed. Marketing, customer service and sales (inflight and airports) were explored.

Sales analysis confirmed that top 20% of products and customers drove 80% of sales, typical Pareto analysis. A focused product strategy was needed that allowed flexibility to develop bespoke product ranges for VIP customers; balancing sales, stock and improving CRM. This strategy complemented the branded, private label and licensed products the company sold.

Working with the buying team, it was established that products were developed year-round. A clearly defined, buying process built to support key sales periods at industry events needed to be created, supported by more stringent product reviews and improved sales forecasts.

Working with the operations team, it was identified that a structured quality control process with KPI’s built in to measure and manage the supplier base needed to be developed.

Marketing was sales focused, an integrated holistic marketing strategy to drive brand awareness, credibility and sales across their branded, licensed and private label products was required.


Janet developed a global buying strategy for this travel retailer with the following processes and recommendations built into the strategy. She created a clearly defined bi-annual buying cycle aligned to key sales periods at industry events; injecting newness and increasing speed to market.

She designed a structured quality control process, incorporating green seal and gold seal samples as check points; providing agility and flexibility to respond to opportunities whilst minimising disruption to the day-to-day business.

She made recommendations for them to develop and maintain a tight product range, providing them with flexibility to develop bespoke product ranges for VIP customers supported by an integrated marketing strategy with consideration for their CRM, to be validated in advance by sales forecasts.

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