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Levelling the travel retail playing field

After a fairly routine business meeting to discuss our work with European based JES Travel Retail and their JES Partner Programme of which we are a member the conversation was winding down when the topic of big brands and their dominance in the US airport retail outlets was discussed. The conversation took the usual course when discussing travel retail stores, "I see XYZ have got another space", "why do ZYX have 2 stores in the same airports ?" and soon after "wouldn't it be great to se 1234 in an airports as the products are ideal, I wonder why they aren't interested ?". It was this eureka moment that I, and JES Travel Retail founder Tim Jobber, realised that we were sitting on a lop-sided playing field and simply because the smaller brands were ill prepared, nay completely unprepared, for the flash to bang moment that is requests from US airports for expressions of interest from brands. · To make the scenario even more surreal the smaller brands are wanted by the airports … I then commented from multiple conversations I had had in the past "they just don’t understand why they don’t get proposals from anyone other than the large corporations.".

Travel retail globally was valued at USD 87.5 billion prior to the COVID pandemic and is expected to have a CAGR of 8.1% over the next 7 year (Fortune Business report July 2022) ... not exactly a small retail arena.

In 2019 the top airports in North America were responsible for servicing more than 800 million people travelling, spending an average of 90 minutes waiting for their flights, and over $8 billion on concessions .. why would small brands not want a part of this ?

Billions of dollars of retail and food & beverage opportunities alone will become available in North American airports over the next five years ... is this too small to be of interest ?

Of course both forecasts are of interest to small brands and even more so when you consider that woman and minority business owners have an advantage and that major US airports are expanding at a rapid pace through government agencies ... and still airports scratch their heads as why only large corporations submit expressions of interest.

So the question is "why are smaller brands not active in entering this lucrative, growing retail environment while watching their historical bricks and mortar retail opportunities shrink on a weekly basis as online takes over from the high street."

... the answer is that the playing field isn't level by a country mile, or in this case an airport runway.

The airports have a "flash to bang" timescale when they wish to hear from brands interested in their available retail space of approximately 72 hours, or the amount of time that a small brands CEO maybe on a business trip, off sick with a slight illness or simply having a extended, well deserved, long weekend yet there has come and gone what may be the ideal retail outlet in their region or a state that they had hope to expand into within the near future.

As any US Air Force veteran will know when discussing military operations its the case of the 7 Ps ... "Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance"... for the sake of decency I will refrain from the British military version !

So with this military adage in mind the concept of the JES Travel Retail / Wise Precision Business Consulting "U.S. retail outlet submission service" was born. The model is a personalized and unique submission preparation service that is completed in anticipation of expressions of interest being received from airports. With our extensive network to the airports we have a regular incoming stream of submission requests from airports and therefore with our documentation prepared for the client and after a brief call to the brand we submit to the airport. The submission service remains an affordable -and if our services are used for the stage 2 more formal submission free of charge - so that the smaller brands have a level playing field to express their suitability and interest in available airport retail outlets.

So if you are looking to get ahead of the game, a game that you can now be played on a levelled playing field then contact us via the website or at to discuss the service.

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