Travel retail often inspires a certain loyalty among those who work in the business, such as Swarovski’s Peter Zottl. In this issue’s Member Interview he talks about the benefits of longevity, backing Barça and the pleasures of the piste.
Peter Zottl

How long have you been working in travel retail and how did you start?

Peter Zottl: I joined Swarovski straight from university in Vienna and have been with the company ever since – a one-company man. I’ve worked in a variety of roles here, but my involvement in travel retail stretches back 17 years. Swarovski knows something about longevity – this year the firm celebrates its 120th anniversary with the founding family’s fifth generation in charge. It’s immensely rewarding to be part of the company’s development for 34 years and counting.

What role does travel retail play for Swarovski?

Swarovski has strong ties with travel and tourism. The Crystal Worlds visitor centre at our Wattens HQ is Austria’s no.2 tourist destination. Travel retail is a core component of our overall marketing strategy with travellers a prime target for our brand. Whether it’s through our downtown stores or flagship airport outlets, we want to get close to people on the move.

In your experience, what are the key benefits of TFWA membership?

Apart from organising a great week for the business every year in Cannes, TFWA enables brand-owners like ourselves to gain the recognition we need from landlords, retailers and regulatory authorities – it helps make us into a coherent industry. If I want to show a new boss at Swarovski what travel retail means, I bring them to Cannes. There they get a good feel for the channel’s importance, diversity and strength, all the way from large FMCG companies through to luxury players. 

Outside work, what do you get passionate about?

My favourite football team, Barça. I worked in the city for 3 years and have been a fan since that time. Otherwise, I genuinely enjoy travelling, not just on business, so my job at Swarovski is a double source of pleasure.

A perfectly groomed ski run, an immaculate golf course or a sunny spot beside the pool – where would you ideally spend a day relaxing?

As a good Austrian, it would have to be the ski slopes. I go skiing every year and thoroughly enjoy spending time on the piste with family and friends.