Seven new boutique stores, numerous exclusive brands, and exciting ways of interacting with products. Shopping at the Helsinki airport is about to be taken to the next level.
With the goal of creating the best shopping experience for travelers in Northern Europe, Finavia started collaborating with Europe’s largest travel retailer, World Duty Free Group (WDFG) earlier this year.
As a result, the 15 million passengers travelling through Helsinki airport annually will soon have access to a wider variety of brands than ever before. It is not only the product selection that is improving; passengers will also be able to experience brands and products in a completely new way.
New luxury brands arrive at the airport
“We are upscaling the retail offer of Helsinki Airport, introducing a wider choice of products, including many that are travel exclusives, as well as various new brands,” says Fernando Perez Peña, Strategy & Business Development Director for Europe, World Duty Free Group.
“We will have four units dedicated to the traditional duty free categories of beauty and liquor, and will also open seven new, boutique-style specialist shops, with a focus on luxury and premium brands. These include Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Armani and Ferragamo – and a few other brands that are not available elsewhere in Finland.”
A lot has already changed at the airport due to this new collaboration. “In just four months, WDFG took the lead on four duty free shops that were previously in Finavia’s hands. The store staff are a great team of enthusiastic people with high expectations and enthusiasm about working for our group”, Perez Peña says.
“It has been very easy to work with them, and everyone at Finavia has been extremely helpful throughout the process.The next step is to refurbish the existing duty free shopping areas.”
But what makes Helsinki so interesting for World Duty Free Group?
“The passengers! Helsinki is unique because of the increasing amount of passengers flying between Asia and Europe. Helsinki offers a very strong base for us in Northern Europe, where we were not previously present,” says Perez Peña.
“The best proof of our commitment to the Helsinki brand is that our stores will be branded Helsinki Duty Free, rather than World Duty Free.”
Creating a new shopping benchmark for the Nordic region
Helsinki’s strategic location as a connector between Europe and Asia translates into a distinctive combination of travelers, and Asians in particular have very high expectations regarding airport shopping.
To cater for these specific needs, WDFG will also introduce a new way of reaching out to customers. Perez Peña promises that in the near future, passengers will see more inspirational events and exciting product launches at Helsinki Airport.
“We have a unique digital marketing concept called Contentainment: this involves using the latest in-store technology to help customers engage with brands in a unique and very interactive way. Vast floor to ceiling digital walls will display tailored audio and visual content, and are partnered with plenty of ‘expo’ space for staging in store events,” he explains.
Passengers can expect to experience a new kind of duty free shopping by the end of this year, when all the new shops and brands are scheduled to be available. Finavia’s collaboration with the leading travel retailer in Europe has all the potential to create a new shopping benchmark for the Nordic region.