Romanians are the youngest European buyers shopping in duty-free stores

3.8 (out of 5) is the degree of satisfaction of Romanians in duty-free stores in the european area, the services and luxury products segment being the most appreciated.

One out of three Romanian customers completes a visit in duty-free locations through purchase and one out of two declares that they visit these spaces when they travel, both percentages being above the European average. At the same time, Romanians are also among the youngest customers of duty-free stores, with an average age of 38 years compared to the European average of 45 years, the Millennials segment among Romanians representing 45% of all customers, while the European average stands at only 18%.

Additionally, the channel provides major opportunities for brand exposure and brand building, with 74% of buyers purchasing a product for the first time in duty-free (well above the European average of 56%). These are just some of the insights that emerged from the study carried out by m1nd-set for Lagardère Travel Retail, tracking the evolution of behavior of travel retail European shoppers since 2016 until 2022.

The study also reveals that most customers visited duty-free stores out of impulse (63% in the case of Romanian customers and 60% average of European citizens), and that they make the purchase decision, mainly, in store in a proportion of about 40% for both segments.

“For us it is essentials to understand our customers and that is why we conduct extensive analyzes throughout the year about the entire travel retail industry. The fact that the purchase decision of our customers is generated spontaneously in store translates into an even greater responsibility that we have when thinking about our duty-free locations from the positioning of the store location, the design elements, ambience, staff, the presentation of the brands in the portfolio etc. It is proven therefore, with solid data that we can increase the income ratio coming from retail out of the total revenues generated by airports, from 20%, (the national average) to 40% (the global average) by developing attractive executions, based on documenting consumers’ trends and desires.” declares Marius Văcălău, CEO Lagardère Travel Retail Romania.

The same study also shows that the main purpose of visiting duty-free stores is to check the product offer, Romanians also having a specificity that exceeds the European average, namely that of looking for a gift for their beloved ones and are also attracted to a greater extent by the promotional campaigns of the brands. Souvenirs (32%) and perfumes (29%) are among the top categories of products purchased by Romanian customers. It is interesting that this category of souvenirs is much more important for Romanians than for other European citizens – a difference from 32% to 15%.

The main purchase factors for Romanian customers compared to European ones are value for money (35% versus 28%), the fact that the products are not available at home (30% versus 18%) and that the products are different from the offer with which they are familiar (22% versus 14%).

“The study clearly shows the potential of Romanian travelers for the travel retail channel: their high footfall, conversion and purchase rates, as well as their above-average spend level reveal a significantly stronger engagement with the channel compared to European travelers overall. These shoppers are particularly impulse driven, both in terms of visits and purchases, highlighting the impact of compelling in-store experiences and meaningful interaction with the staff (on which they also over-index vs the European average). Moreover, Romanian traveler’s passenger traffic show a very strong post-covid recovery, with Q1-Q3 2022 figures exceeding the same period of 2019.” states Clara Susset – Chief Operating Officer M1nd-set.

Romanian customers have a level of satisfaction similar to the European consumer average for the duty-free experience – a score of 3,8 out 5, while the European average is 3.7. Among the top preferences of Romanians for which they appreciate duty-free stores are the services and the presence of the luxury products segment.

The data presented are part of a study representing a part of Lagardère Travel Retail effort to understand the customers’ needs and concerns, which have changed significantly, especially in the past two years.

brandsbuyersduty freeEuropeansLagardère Travel RetailluxuryRomaniansshoppingsouvenirsstoresyoungest
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