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Why aren’t there more luxury advent calendars in the travel retail marketplace?

Major beauty names along with more jewellery and alcohol brands have been enjoying the advent calendar sales lift at the this time of year for a while now. So how come these branded bundles of joy are not more widely available in the duty free environment?

Larger size packaging and weight will be key issues. However as more travel retailers start to embrace omnichannel and digital ordering capabilities such as click-and-collect on arrival home, is it time for a rethink? How about bundling advent calendar promotions into the potential new arrivals duty free offer in Europe?

Apart from the physical size stock challenges, beauty advent calendars in particular present an opportunity for exclusive or limited edition product showcases. An opportunity for retailers to work with brands for one-offs exclusively available per region for example.

Influencers and digital reach go hand-in-hand to help promote the one-off appeal of festive advent calendars in the run up to Christmas. According to marketing website My Market Insight, online media dominates the advent calendar advertising category as it represents 99% of coverage in EMV (Earned Media Views) and 90% in mentions. Apparently, mentions have shifted from online blogs to online publications, which now have a 79% share of mentions – driven by a doubling of advent calendar articles, to help promote partner brands’ products.

My Market Insight found that 2019’s most popular beauty advent calendars – by online mentions – were The Body Shop and Elemis, as they both scored highly on its EMV scoring.

The Financial Times has a consumer-friendly shopping list for its top 10 favourite 2020 advent calendars, Diptique and Dior Beauty & Fragrances among them.

Luxury department store case study

Here’s a recent digital campaign case study from the pre-pandemic Echolution archive, that targeted overseas shoppers visiting the UK to promote Liberty‘s well known beauty advent calendar. It’s a good example of the global reach that services this type of annual product purchase and coverts shoppers into loyal repeat customers.

Echolution takeaway:

This kind of partnership opportunity is dynamic and introduces a host of targeting opportunities for one of travel retail’s leading product categories: beauty.

If I was a beauty director of purchasing at a duty free operator, I would be looking at major brand houses to collaborate on a retailer-owned luxury advent calendar carrying a range of miniature bestsellers from the likes of Estée Lauder, L’Oréal Paris, YSL Beauté’,  Lancôme, Shiseido, MAC Cosmetics, NARS, Laura Mercier, Jo Malone, Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel, Clarins and Dior Beauty. If it’s good enough for John Lewis, it’s a multi-brand trinity partnership waiting to happen for World Duty Free.