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Survey: Technology, mobile offers can help airport retailers generate more revenue

BY Marianne Wilson

Duluth, Ga. — Airport retailers around the globe are missing out on valuable opportunities to generate more revenue from time-starved and mobile-enabled travelers, according to a recent survey by NCR Corp., a leading provider of airline and airport self-service, retail, wayfinding and mobile solutions.

In the survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corp., a leading provider of airline and airport self-service, retail, wayfinding and mobile solutions, 35% of airport travelers in the United States, 34% in the United Kingdom, 30%in France and 23% in Germany said it is difficult to find the stores, restaurants and other retail offerings at airports in the limited amount of time they have.

“This survey highlights the vast untapped potential airports still have to serve travelers who have the time and inclination to shop,” said Tyler Craig, VP and general manager, NCR Travel. “Airports today get nearly 50% of their revenue from non-aviation sources. By employing some of the technologies used by today’s retailers such as mobile marketing and interactive, digital signage, airports can more effectively communicate with and make offers to travelers, boosting revenue while making their airports more welcoming, entertaining and user-friendly.”

The survey showed that mobile solutions have the potential to drive retail purchases at airport stores and restaurants, with 48% of travelers in Germany, 40% in the United States and 36% in both France and the United Kingdom listing “retail or food discount coupons delivered to your mobile device or paper boarding pass” as the top incentive to shop more at airports.

Other technologies that might tempt travelers to shop more, according to the survey, include self-checkouts to speed retail transactions, and endless aisle technology allowing shoppers to browse for and purchase merchandise not available in the airport store and having those items delivered to their homes following their trips.
In other findings:

• The survey uncovered a large segment of completely untapped potential customers, with 21% of travelers in the United States, 18% in France, 15% in Germany and 12% in the United Kingdom responding that they never purchase anything at the airport.

• Food, beverages and reading material are among the most popular items purchased in airports around the world. In the United States, 73% of shoppers said they purchased food or drink at the airport, compared with 60% in the United Kingdom, 43% in Germany and only 23% in France. In the United Kingdom, 65% of travelers said they purchased books, newspapers or magazines at the airport, compared with 63% of travelers in Germany, 53% in France and 48% in the United States.

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RILA praises U.S.-Colombia trade deal

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association on Tuesday expressed support of this week’s announcement by President Barack Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will enter into force on May 15.

"RILA and our members are delighted to see that the benefits of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will finally be realized next month. We applaud President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk for their work to implement this long-anticipated trade promotion agreement," said Stephanie Lester, VP international trade.

"The Colombia FTA will benefit retailers by bringing certainty and stability to the trade relationship between the United States and Colombia," Lester said.

Colombia already has duty-free access to the United States for most goods under unilateral U.S. trade preference programs, although those programs have been plagued with uncertainty caused by expirations and short-term extensions. When implemented on May 15, the Colombia FTA will provide certainty for U.S. importers and also eliminate most of the duties Colombia now imposes on American exports of agricultural and manufactured goods, RILA said.

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Esprit hires new CFO

BY Staff Writer

Hong Kong — Esprit Holdings Ltd. announced Tuesday that it has hired Thomas Tang, former CFO of blue chip property firm Sino Land Co. Ltd., as its new group CFO.

Tang, who has over 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, left Sino Land in late March.

Esprit is in the throes of a major restructuring after its previous CFO resigned. Tang begins his post in May.

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