Aurora World reports excellent week in Cannes

Aurora World global travel retail sales manager Garry Stoner - an industry veteran of 26 years - has reported one of the busiest, most productive weeks at TFWA World Exhibition that he can remember. “We’ve had an absolutely fantastic week in Cannes,” he says. “Total visitors may have been down this year but in terms of quality of meetings and walk-by interest in Aurora, this has been an incredibly positive and successful exhibition.” Stoner reports strong interest and potential new business with cruiseship and ferry lines, particularly from Northern Europe; while regionally the Middle East and Subcontinent was dominant. “For sure opening our new distribution centre in Jebel Ali, Dubai has really pushed Aurora to a new level for operators in that region,” says Stoner. “It’s now up and running and it gives us a far better ability to trade, not just in the Middle East but also Asia Pacific region.” Product wise, Aurora’s new Dinosaur and Sea Life collections including mermaid dolls attracted great interest, along with the new “Destination Gnomes” including Irish, UK and Beefeater versions. It’s free-standing merchandise unit, which holds up to 150 units on a footprint of just 0.6m was also well received with several operators keen to create satellite impulse sales opportunities, the display has been developed in conjunction with our TR customers, the principle objective was to maximize sales from the smallest footprint possible. Continues Stoner: “It’s really encouraging to see that more and more retailers are now treating the plush category seriously, understanding the potential incremental sales that can be achieved by offering a focused offering in the right location. Our merchandising unit shows that this not need be a large amount of floor space at all and is an ideal solution to space-restricted retail environments.” This year, Aurora’s sales have grown by 42% through both organic growth with existing customers plus new doors including ARI Muscat Duty Free, Dufry Sharjah, B&S Global, SMI Myanmar, Gebr Heinemann Kuala Lumpur Airport, Setur Turkey, and a pop up store with P&O Ferries UK. Core to the range is the YooHoo & Friends character collection, based on cartoon characters that travel the world protecting animals and their environments. With over 80m pieces sold worldwide since its introduction in 2007, YooHoo’s international exposure (including featuring in McDonald’s Happy Meals in 2014 and 2015 makes it perfect for travel retail. “The popularity of YooHoo worldwide gives us a huge opportunity to engage with travellers through promotional activity – particularly via ‘live’ appearances,” continues Stoner. “Improving shop penetration is key and YooHoo can help retailers achieve this. We’ve had some really positive conversations this week with operators who are realizing just how useful YooHoo can be, not just to generate plush sales but to improve retail sales of all categories by improving foot-fall.”

October 14, 2016

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