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IAADFS highlights ‘encouraging’ travel retail trends

New insights from the International Association of Airport and Duty Free Stores (IAADFS) point to a positive outlook for North American travel retail.

North American footfall and conversion trends have improved in 2021

IAADFS has released its Business 1ntelligence Service (B1S) Recovery Monitor for the second quarter of 2021, with data from research agency M1ndset.

According to the report, increasing footfall and conversion levels are among the ‘encouraging trends’ in the North American market. The numbers sat below the global average over the previous four years, but have been on the rise in 2021.

This year, footfall in North America has hit 39%, rising above the global average of 37%.

Conversion levels – previously in decline both regionally and globally – increased by 62% in North America, up from 46% in 2020, compared to the global 2021 average of 59%.

Meanwhile, footfall in Central America and the Caribbean declined by 35% in 2021, two points below the global average – though conversion rates in the region returned to 2019 levels this year.

In 2021, global passenger numbers are forecast to recover to 52% of pre-pandemic levels; they are predicted to surpass pre-pandemic levels by 2023, and reach 5.6 billion by 2030 – a figure that’s 7% below the pre-Covid forecast, representing a loss of two to three years of growth.

Anna Marchesini, M1ndset’s head of business development, commented: “It’s important to take a step back when looking at this data and get a holistic overview of the positive and negative elements when analysing shopper behaviour.

“There are certain fundamental behavioural differences that are quite positive and need to be seized upon by industry stakeholders. It’s important to understand not only the general trends, but why certain trends are occurring, where in particular and among which customer segment, in order to make the data more actionable.”

IAADFS subscribed to the B1S recovery tracking service earlier this year to receive “access to key traffic trends and behaviour information”.

Michael Payne, IAADFS president and CEO, said: “It’s really interesting to see how the overall picture is changing from one quarter to the next. This will inevitably continue to evolve as the year progresses.

“While we hope this evolution will be for the better, it is important that we as an association and our members continue to monitor how the traffic and shopper behaviour progress. We are in uncharted territory here so it’s extremely useful to have this continuity and support with the traffic data and shopper behaviour monitoring.”

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