NEW YORK — The travel retail arena is one of the latest venues to be influenced by the booming men’s grooming market.
World Duty Free, the duty- and tax-free retailing subsidiary of BAA plc, will open a men’s grooming shop, called the Men’s Workshop, in Terminal 1 of London’s Heathrow Airport next Wednesday. It claims to be the “first dedicated travel retail concept store for the male market.” BAA runs the U.K.’s major airports and operates related retail space.
The 800-square-foot space will carry an array of men’s grooming products and will offer skin care consultations, treatments and product advice by a trained staff covering multiple grooming categories. Additionally, there will be a dedicated “men’s bar” for hand massages and skin care analysis. After a skin care consultation, men can peruse the selection of wines, whiskeys and cigars that will also be sold at the shop.
“We’ve identified another opportunity to talk to our male customers, who, in the past, may have been inhibited about buying grooming products,” stated Mark Riches, managing director of World Duty Free. “This new approach says it’s more than acceptable for men to care about their appearance.”
The shop’s men’s grooming assortment will be merchandised by category, such as skin care and fragrance. Featured brands include L’Oreal’s Biotherm Homme line, which will be merchandised on its own floor gondola, and Molton Brown, which will be spotlighted on a dedicated wall.
Other brands will include Inter Parfums’ Nickel assortment, Estee Lauder Cos.’ Clinique Skin Supplies for Men collection, Shiseido’s Zirh brand, Clarins Men and Jack Black. Leather and metal merchandising units have been designed to give the area a masculine feel.
“It provides a test bed for new product launches to evolve our understanding of what the male market requires in the grooming arena,” Riches stated. “We look forward to seeing how the concept develops and we’re confident it will enjoy great success.”
For the year ended March 31, BAA’s net retail income — which includes revenues from third-party retail operators, concessions from World Duty Free to U.K. airports and World Duty Free’s operating profit — reached $1.1 billion at average exchange rates.
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BAA group operating profits for the same period were up 9.1 percent to $1.26 billion, on revenues of $3.97 billion.
In 2003, BAA concluded a five-year, $167 million redevelopment of Terminal 3 at Heathrow. That terminal now features 85,500 square feet of space that houses retail areas for fashion, beauty and other categories. BAA expects to wrap up a redevelopment of Terminal 5 in 2008.