Article China Reborn

Eudes Fabre, CEO North Asia, Lagardère Travel Retail

Why do you feel the Chinese market is important now?

As the first major market to rebound from the Covid-19 crisis, China travel retail is supporting our industry through these unprecedented times, giving new brands a chance to enter the market and pioneering new business models which will ultimately expand the reach of travel retail. Furthermore, China is leading the way in the digitalisation of retail and provides a great source of inspiration for the future of our industry.

How do you see the significance of the wider Asian market?

We expect Asian countries will be among the first to see a meaningful resurgence in leisure and business travel, thanks to effective epidemic control measures, resilient economic activity and the proximity to key outbound markets such as China. Now is the time for our industry to prepare for the recovery of travel and consumption, and to prepare ourselves to seize new opportunities that will emerge in the aftermath of the crisis. Projects that were put on hold can now be revived and re-imagined, and new common interests can be found between different industry stakeholders. We expect Asia will lead the recovery and concentrate future growth in travel retail.

What are you particularly looking forward to about the TFWA China Reborn online event?

I am looking forward to reconnecting with industry colleagues and friends who we have missed during this traumatic year. It is a time to look beyond the gloom and talk about the bright future around the corner, while brainstorming for new ways to add value for all stakeholders, enhance image and visibility for brand partners and drive customer engagement to new levels.

Why did you want to support TFWA China Reborn?

We decided to support the event in recognition of the strong commitment of our peers, brand partners and other industry stakeholders to sustain the travel retail industry through the crisis, adapt to new market realities and reinvent the business to thrive in a transformed environment. In these troubled times we need to come together as an industry to protect our future and reaffirm our relevance, so industry support for organisations like TFWA is more important now than ever before.

What are you expecting to achieve from your participation?

We hope to give the industry better insight into the consumer trends underlying the rebound, highlight the significant growth opportunities we see, and initiate discussions for new partnerships, business models and customer-engagement initiatives which will power the recovery of our sector.

How do you view the chance to have ONE2ONE e-meetings?

TFWA’s trademark One2One meetings have always been a friendly and effective way to connect and re-connect with partners in the industry, so I am glad the TFWA team has found an innovative solution for carrying the format over into the virtual realm while we wait eagerly for the chance to catch up face-to-face.

Any other thoughts?

Travel retail’s remarkable recovery in China shows the resilience of our industry and the fundamentals that drive its growth. In the darkest of times we should not lose hope, but on the contrary, look ahead to new possibilities and dare to try new ideas on which our industry’s prosperity will be rebuilt. Let us embrace the turbulence and turn this unprecedented challenge into an opportunity for renewal and a drive for reconquest.