IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 8 Sep 2014

Travel Hubs – Where Expansion Plans take Flight


Over the past few years travel destinations have begun to change and the term ‘travel hub’ has started to emerge. Now no longer a place of boredom and unappetising food, transport environments are cottoning on to the fact that they have a captive audience with time and ‘holiday’ money to spend.

High footfall from international and often affluent travellers means airports and other major ‘travel hubs’ provide a unique environment for retailers and can act as a useful trail space for new ideas and concepts, reaching consumers both at home and overseas.

Airports, for example, deliver the highest sales densities of any shopping environment due to strong footfall from an international, cash-rich, captive audience, who want to kill time and often splash out on impulse. Retailers are increasingly realising the importance of engaging travel shoppers – with 85% of visitors to Gatwick Airport buying something, it’s worth making the effort to entice travellers.

For retailers with international aspirations, a ‘travel hub’ store can build brand awareness, drive website traffic, as well as test products with an overseas customer base. The insight gained is extremely valuable as it can be fed into future expansion decisions.

Retailers have also become aware of the convenience factor at transport hubs. Several of them have launched click-and-collect services that allow consumers to collect orders at train and tube stations.

The global airport market is forecast to reach £36.6 billion by 2019, a growth of 72.9% on 2013 figures. A number of our customers, including; Paperchase, Whistles, Cath Kidston, Morrisons and World Duty Free are taking advantage of this additional selling space, with outlets popping up in airports and train stations.

However there are challenges when expanding in to travel hubs, including; out of hours IT support, international language barriers, and the ability to deliver a ‘click and collect’ offering. However with the correct service in place you can expand smoothly and easily in to these environments.

Travel retail may previously have been seen as an afterthought by retailers, but it is quickly becoming central to many retailers strategies. Consumers now want and are beginning to expect an all singing all dancing retail and social experience when visiting travel destinations and we can help you deliver on this.

Our Ra-X solution can help with international barriers, and has recently helped one of our customers, Cath Kidston, their 100th international store. Ra-X manages the two-way global data exchange between Cath Kidston’s Head Office and overseas partners, sending and receiving product, price, promotion and sales data from store concessions or international locations back to central operations.


Furthermore our Merret supply chain solution also aids with international expansion, covering all aspects of stock control, retail supply and business information. Presented in a multi-lingual, multi-country environment, Merret provides definable, multi-dimensional business structures to manage the unique complexities of your buying and merchandising activity for national and international retailing, whether it be a high street multiple, department store, discount outlet, airport, concession, franchise, on-line or ‘travel hub’ store. For more information on our Merret supply chain please click here.

This alongside our Help Desk Support, which facilitates an international offering, fluent in 8 languages, and supports you IT systems 24x7x365 means that you will be able to deliver a seamless and consistent offering to your ‘travel hub’ customers around the clock.

If you would like any further information about any of our services then you can visit our website: or call us on: +44 (0) 115 853 3910. You can also search for us on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news from Retail Assist.

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