Top airport operator in the world
France’s second airport platform has been rewarded for its global sales strategy, which includes the renovation of its terminals, the reworking of its offer of sales outlets, its customer satisfaction ratings and its strategic vision with brands and operators. Nice Côte d’Azur overcame the competition from Schiphol and Heathrow.
On the occasion of the Cannes Tax-Free World exhibition, the independent retailing professionals from the world over on the jury of the 2018 Frontier Awards, rewarded the work that Nice Côte d’Azur airport has done over the past four years to rethink passenger journeys and to renew its entire commercial offer.
“Our starting point was the fact that our airport benefits from a unique location in the heart of the French Riviera, which is an internationally renowned tourist and business destination with a range-topping brand image. Nice Côte d’Azur has a duty to live up to its surrounding region, by offering the most surprising shopping experience of all Europe’s airports”, analyses Filip Soete, Sales Director of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur. (From left to right : Carole Szymkowiak (2nd), Shopping Centre Project Manager in the Shopping and Services Development department, Robbie Gill (3rd), Founder and Managing Director “The Design Solution”, Valérie Chuong (4th), Head of the Shopping and Services Development department, Filip Soete (5th) and Dominique Thillaud (6th), Chairman of the Board of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur).
A new journey and new offers
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The first step of this major programme consisted of refurbishing the two terminals to achieve two goals: smoother passenger movements allowing for more spare time, and a larger boarding area to propose a broader and more varied offer. The installation of a single inspection and filtering station for each terminal shortened passenger queues and allowed for better signage with a single duty-free area. At the end of this first phase, the surface given over to shopping in the boarding area increased by 160% to 3,553m² in terminal 1, and by 162% to 3,706m² in terminal 2.
The second step consisted of reconsidering the offer. With expert advice from the Martine Leherpeur Conseil firm of consultants, Nice Côte d’Azur decided to capitalise on local authenticity, the “sense of place” of the French Riviera, and to adapt it more closely to the five typical passenger profiles that had been identified:
- passengers feeling nostalgic, who are sad that their stay is coming to an end and want to enjoy one last Riviera experience, VIPs, who are used to international terminals and expect special attention and a high standard of service,
- generous business travellers, who want to take home a souvenir to remind them of this destination,
- gourmet tourists or business travellers, who have the time and the means to enjoy a special treat before taking off,
- and the blasé frequent flyers, who are in a hurry and who simply cannot be bothered with a sales outlet that they want to get out of as quickly as possible.
On the strength of this passenger segmentation, Nice Côte d’Azur renewed its offer according to four categories: Riviera essentials, French essentials, trendsetters and airport essentials. The offer in each category extends from the top of the range to entry level.
In four years, the number of sales outlets has increased by 71% to 77: six duty-free shops, 33 stores, including four pop-up stores, 26 restaurants or take-aways and 12 service areas.
“The upselling of the airport is demonstrated by some achievements of which we can be proud. The Versace store is the first one on the Riviera. We also boast the first ever Fragonard and The Kooples shops in an airport. We have also attracted the talents of Thierry Marx, with his two Michelin stars, who opened La Plage in terminal 1, and of Mauro Colagreco, the world’s third-ranking chef, who created the menu of L’Estivale in terminal 2”, explains Valérie Chuong, Head of the Shopping and Services Development department.
“This award was won through teamwork. Not only by our business teams, but also by our technical and legal staff. And because it was won by a team, this prize is all the more rewarding”, claims Dominique Thillaud, Chairman of the Board of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur.