All Eyes On... 2017

For the second year, and as a continuation of their Vision 2020 commitment to sunglasses category growth in travel retail, leading suppliers De Rigo, Essilor, Kering Eyewear, Luxottica, Marchon, Marcolin, Maui Jim and Safilo Group present a category communication series featuring the winners of the 2017 Sunglasses Awards. “All Eyes On” examines the best-in-class executions that helped elevate sunglasses standards and performance in travel retail.

“In 2017, the Sunglasses Awards received a record number of entries and the winners all had very compelling submissions, strengthening our category’s position in the travel retail industry. We hope that the ideas, strategies, implementation and performance of the winners will inspire more innovation and support for our category as we pursuit our Vision 2020 goals,” said the sunglasses supplier collective.

View story:
All Eyes On... DUFRY

Best Marketing Activity for the Sunglasses Category:

In 2017, Dufry integrated sunglasses brands Gucci and Calvin Klein into its Contentainment marketing programme in its World Duty Free stores at UK airport locations, including London Gatwick South Terminal, London Heathrow Terminal 5 and London Stansted.

Winner of Best Marketing Activity for the Sunglasses Category, the submission was recognised for its smart and effective use of instore digital media to promote the brands in outpost event zones. The campaigns were aimed at increasing shopper engagement for eyewear brands and strengthening the position of sunglasses as a core category.

Dufry scored highly for the uniqueness and originality of its execution. For example, in the Calvin Klein campaign, the travel retailer implemented a cross-category initiative featuring, for the first time, the launch of both Calvin Klein’s fragrances and sunglasses in its in-store ‘expo’ spaces. A Lucky Screen game was also installed within the same space, which encouraged travellers to stop and participate, as part of a gamification strategy. The Calvin Klein promotion resulted in a 371% increase in sales.

Dufry's World Duty Free store in London Heathrow Terminal 5 – Calvin Klein Promotion and Lucky Screen game

Similarly, Gucci eyewear sales grew +254% when as a result of its utilization of the UK’s Contentainment network, vs the previous period.

“Our Contentainment platform and digital technologies enable us to create a real sense of excitement and theatre in our stores and deliver an engaging and compelling customer experience for participating brands. We are constantly striving to develop the sunglasses category and maximise the potential through our marketing initiatives. Marketing cross-category with CK was a very exciting step for us. We look forward further exciting projects with our sunglasses brand partners in the future.”

Silvia Morris, Global Category Manager – Eyewear, Dufry

“Dufry has integrated exceptional instore digital platforms for brand visibility on a grand scale and we were able to really maximize this in these key UK airports. Seeing sunglasses brands express themselves via this platform is an exciting development in driving increased category awareness and growth. It also demonstrates Dufry’s confidence and dedication in promoting the sunglasses category on the same level as other core categories.”

Erwan Le Guennec, Global Travel Retail Director at Marchon Eyewear

Dufry's World Duty Free store at London Gatwick South Terminal – Gucci Promotion
All Eyes On... PAC - Beirut Duty Free

Best New Sunglasses Environment: PAC – Beirut Duty Free

PAC (Phoenicia Aer Rianta Company), which operates Beirut Duty Free, is a leading duty-free retail operation in the Middle East and the exclusive retailer at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (BHIA), Lebanon.

In November 2016, Beirut Duty Free opened its refurbished area for sunglasses at BHIA, with the objective of elevating the sunglasses shopping experience through a luxurious, downtown boutique feel.

Upgrading the category space from 60sqm to 100sqm, the refurbishment achieved a modern and high-end design, dramatically increasing visibility of the sunglasses category among travellers as well as creating an enhanced environment for luxury brands.

Beirut Duty Free’s new sunglasses area – which brought natural light into the shop through the panoramic windows of the terminal exterior – features premium marble flooring, glossy black and white displays with full-length mirrors and brightly lit shelves, and clear brand signage. The store presents over 1300 facings, including personalised wallbays from Ray-Ban and Dior, and a rotational promotional area dedicated to the category.

Beirut Duty Free also rearranged the placement of luxury brands to the shop front, to meet the increased consumer demand from high-spending Lebanese passengers, which represent around 70% of the traffic at BHIA.

The new development has resulted in an exceptional sunglasses category performance at Beirut Duty Free. Category sales grow +30% versus a shop trend of +3%, with category average transaction value increasing by +6% to reach US$235. Average spend per passenger for the category increased by +19% and sunglasses share of Beirut’s total fashion and accessories category grew by +6.2% points to reach 50%.

“At Beirut Duty Free, we have witnessed the sunglasses category growing at a compounded annual growth rate of +17.25% over the last three years. This is a clear category trend which we were determined to exploit. Our investment and belief in the category has paid dividends, having created a new space that meet customers’ demands in a sophisticated and modern environment. We are in tune with the aspirations of our brand partners who have been incredibly supportive.” Zeidan adds, “PAC is thrilled to have achieved the accolade of Best New Store Environment, and we look forward to pushing the sunglasses category forward in the future, especially in the areas of online, technology and CRM.”

Lynn Zeidan, Business Development Manager at PAC

“PAC Beirut Duty Free have proven that investment in the right space, right location and a high-quality execution of the sunglasses category brings a fantastic return on investment for all stakeholders. The category spend per passenger sets a benchmark and really shows what is possible. PAC have been an extremely collaborative partner and they are worthy winners of this award.”

Lucilla Tremonti, Duty Free & Travel Retail Sales Manager at Marcolin

All Eyes On... King Power

Best Off-Airport Sunglasses Retailer

Established in 1989, King Power International Group is Thailand’s number 1 travel retailer, and the pioneer and leader in airport and downtown duty-free in the country. Off-airport, King Power International Group runs four downtown duty-free complexes in Bangkok Rangnam, Bangkok Srivaree, Phuket and Pattaya.

The sunglasses category is playing a growing role in King Power’s off-airport operation, with the category now occupying a total of 455sqm across the four locations. The premium spaces are managed by motivated teams of highly-trained and knowledgeable sunglasses sales professionals and are supported by King Power’s ongoing marketing initiatives such as category gifts with purchase, instore sales promotions and membership discounts.

Best Digital Initiative for Sunglasses Category

This new award category was introduced in 2017 to recognise innovative and consumer-centric digital initiatives for the sunglasses category, as digital and mobile become an increasingly essential part of the travel retail experience.

King Power International Group launched its online shop ( in January 2015 to expand its business into the digital sphere to engage new customers with a seamless duty free shopping experience for travellers and non-travellers. The platform offers international travellers an opportunity to buy a diverse range of products, which are then collected at their departure airport in Thailand. Non-travellers also benefit from the wide range of products that are usually not available in domestic markets and can have them delivered right to their doorstep.

The sunglasses category was launched on the online store with a limited range of the top 20 products, and promoted through e-marketing efforts, special promotions and online-exclusive discounts. King Power subsequently expanded its range of sunglasses products available online to meet different consumer demands, all the while working on improving the look and functionality of the website.

The King Power online store now carries sunglasses brands such as Gucci, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Burberry, Guess, Dior, Prada, Coach, Polaroid, Salvatore Ferragamo and new-comer Vedi Vero. Since its online launch, King Power has experienced a 900% increase for online sunglasses sales.

“As the pioneer and leader of the Thailand travel retail industry, King Power has always been driven to deliver an exceptional customer experience, as well as to meet the various needs of our strong customer base. The sunglasses category is important to us and we have put a lot of focus on the great opportunity that the category presents. The entire King Power family is very proud to have received these two awards and we will strive for even better sunglasses performance in the future.”

Denny Hui, Senior Vice President - Merchandising Planning and Strategy, King Power International Group

“With the Thailand tourism market booming, King Power International Group has played an exceptional role in promoting the country as a key destination, especially for Chinese tourists. They have shown retail excellence in staying relevant to the changing demands of the consumer, and dramatically enhanced their downtown, airport and online duty free operations in recent years with some spectacular investments.” Piccin continues “King Power’s dedication to the sunglasses category has been realised by their new and enlarged space in locations such as Rangnam and Srivaree, as well as increased sophistication of the category on with an online-to-offline strategy. All of this drove strong category growth and maximised the opportunity. Congratulations to King Power on the double-award win last year.”

Alessandra Piccin, Duty Free & Licensor Boutiques Sales Manager at De Rigo

All Eyes On... Kappe International

Sunglasses Retailer of the Year (under USD2bn)

Kappé International is a leading retailer at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Established in 1950, Kappé works closely together with the leading suppliers in the industry to operate a diverse range of outlets, offering fragrances, skincare products, makeup and sunglasses within a network of eleven stores, with two Rituals and two MAC branded stores. In 2017, the company ran four dedicated standalone sunglasses stores in Schiphol, with a total store space of 139sqm.

Offering over 1,000 different SKUs from 40 brands, Kappé’s operation stood out from the rest due to their attention to detail in the category. From the basic principles of segmentation and merchandising to marketing and supply chain, Kappé has implemented an active program of constant refinement and improvement for the category, supported by new marketing initiatives such as pop-up concourse stores and brand-led shopfront and video wall dressings which are rotated every four weeks.

“The entire team at Kappé International was very proud to have received this award, and to be acknowledged as a true leader in the sunglasses category in travel retail. Our efforts in many different aspects of the category are creating strong results and we look forward to continuing to work with our brand partners and Schiphol Airport to drive growth.”

Jacques Parson, Chairman, Kappé International

“In 2016, Kappé won the award for Best New Store Environment for their new stores in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Leveraging the high-quality environments that they’ve created, the excellent performance of Kappé has continued into 2017, based on their brand partnerships, marketing efforts, sales staff training and supply chain enhancements. Kappé’s attention to detail and fantastic customer service in the sunglasses category is really helping to optimise sunglasses sales at one of the world’s most important international hub airports.”

Giles Marks, Director Duty Free Sales at Maui Jim

All Eyes On... Incheon Airport

Most Supportive Airport Authority for the Sunglasses Category

Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) runs Incheon International Airport in South Korea. The airport has received numerous accolades for customer service and experience, and ranks in the top 10 airports in the world for international passengers handled per year.

IIAC plays an active role in managing the commercial estate across its two terminals, with sales booming in the last decade. Incheon now ranks as the world’s number 1 airport for duty free sales.

Incheon has 22 shops selling sunglasses across over 900sqm for the category. This represents about 5% of the total retail space at the airport. IIAC demonstrates a clear strategy on the locations to promote and sell sunglasses at Shilla Duty Free, Shinsegae Duty Free, SM Duty Free and Cityplus. The category is placed in prominent areas in front of the main passenger flow after security checks, at the front of stores as a footfall-driving category, as well as in luxury boutiques and at last-minute shops near boarding gates.

IIAC supports retail marketing activities by having pop-up promotional points that display popular sunglasses products and discount rates. Last year IIAC integrated sunglasses into their online marketing efforts, including a Summer Sunglasses promotion on Incheon’s social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

In 2016, sunglasses sales at Incheon reached almost US$90 million, growing at 4.5% year-on-year.

“Incheon International Airport Corporation continues to believe in the sunglasses category, ensuring that it is well-represented in all of its terminals. With the expansion of their sunglasses space and additional efforts in marketing the category, they experienced solid category growth year-on-year, despite being in a period of decline in Chinese travelers to South Korea due to geopolitical tensions. With Chinese travelers returning, the future of the sunglasses category at Incheon looks brighter than ever.”

Lucia Saracino, Director of Regional Sales and Global Trade Marketing
at Essilor

All Eyes On... DFS GROUP

DFS Group has been a long-time supporter of sunglasses. Today the category is represented in more than 45 locations, covering over 1,850sqm of retail space, across the DFS Group estate. The luxury travel retailer presents the category in a number of different formats, including sunglasses departments, fashion boutiques, kiosks and pop-ups. At the 2017 Sunglasses Awards, DFS Group scooped up two major accolades for their efforts.

Sunglasses Retailer of the Year (above US$2bn)

2017 was a very busy year for DFS in the sunglasses category, with many projects implemented in store development and marketing, underpinned by the efforts of the DFS sunglasses sales staff on the shopfloor.

On a merchandising level, DFS carried a total of 58 sunglasses brands, including 8 new brands that were added to their portfolio in 2017 – Givenchy, Linda Farrow, Jimmy Choo, Max Mara, Moncler, Persol, Pomellato and Valentino.

DFS implemented a new sunglasses concept across all of its new stores, segmenting products into gender, price points and age groups. Each sunglasses offering became a tailored experience according to the location’s customer profiles. Some of the new openings or renovations included at DFS, Singapore Changi Airport,Terminal 3, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Maui Airport in Hawaii, DFS Singapore Cruise Centre and at the downtown T Galleria stores T Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice, T Galleria by DFS, Sydney, T Galleria by DFS, Auckland, and T Galleria Beauty by DFS, MGM Cotai in Macau.

DFS continued to drive product innovation and differentiation of the sunglasses category in 2017 with several bespoke marketing campaigns for the launch of travel retail and DFS exclusive products from brands such as Prada, Tom Ford and Gucci, as well as high-profile pop-up brand concepts like the Fendi Sunglasses Truck.

“At DFS, we always strive to provide truly exceptional experiences for customers throughout the world. We are delighted to have won the Sunglasses Retailer of the Year award for the second consecutive year and seeing our efforts to constantly reimagine the category being recognised. We continue to see great potential in eyewear and value our brand partners greatly.”

Jason Blejwas, Global Merchandising Director - Fashion- DFS Group

DFS’s Jason Blejwas (left) and Christophe Chaix (right) flank Francis Gros, former Head of Global Channels for Luxottica, at the 2017 Awards


“DFS has been consistently excellent in all areas of the sunglasses retail scene; not just in 2017, but over a sustained period. From their store designs and product range to their promotions and staff training, they proved worthy of the title best-in-class.” Pozzi continues, “DFS has served as an inspiration for the wider industry, having made their sunglasses offer so distinctive and unique, by working with brandowners to create bespoke product launches for exclusives. Their category innovation in integrating KOLs and digital into their launch strategies has given us a glimpse into the future, as part of a 360 degree and omni-channel approach to sunglasses retailing.”

Alessandro Pozzi, Global Channels Director at Luxottica Group

Best Dedicated Sunglasses Sales Team – T Galleria by DFS, Four Seasons Macau

One of the driving factors behind DFS’s success in the sunglasses category is the enthusiasm and dedication of its specialist sunglasses sales staff. In 2017, one of DFS’s most outstanding teams comprised of 7 individuals who worked at the T Galleria by DFS, Four Seasons outlet in Macau. All the team members were passionate about luxury fashion and worked closely together to deliver exceptional customer service. The results generated one of the top 3 most productive sunglasses spaces in the entire DFS network.

The team had already won several brand-led incentive trips and was the best-performing location for the Gucci DFS Exclusive launch in 2017.

“I think DFS commitment to staff development and performance excellence really sets us apart. We are very proud that the effort of the excellent sales team based at the Four Seasons in Macau were acknowledged at the Sunglasses Awards 2017. They are exceptionally hard-working and dedicated professionals who are well-managed into a highly productive team and winning this trophy means the world to them. They are an inspiration to our other great teams across the DFS network.”

Jason Blejwas, Global Merchandising Director – Fashion, Watches, Jewelry and Accessories, DFS Group

“The effort that the DFS Four Seasons Macau team put into their awards entry was inspirational in itself. They embody true passion for the category, love for their job and for their employer, DFS. The team’s commitment is brilliant and it’s no surprise that they are such high-performers. Keep up the great work!”

Pietro Scognamiglio, Head of Global Travel Retail, Kering Eyewear