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World’s first digital duty free vending machine unveiled at Geneva Airport


The duty free industry is celebrating a new first today – the launch of the world’s first digital duty free vending machine at Geneva Airport.

Lagardère Travel Retail Switzerland has partnered with Inflyter to introduce the new, innovative automated retail solution, which offers travellers a fully digital duty free shopping experience for arriving passengers.

And the travel retail giant is confident that the new custom-designed, digital outlet will generate incremental revenue and transform a high traffic airport zone into a self-service commercial space.

Its introduction effectively means that passengers flying into Geneva Airport can order, pay and collect duty free items in under 60 seconds, offering them a fast and convenient way to shop when the Aelia Duty Free store might be closed.

It also potentially provides an alternative shopping method for travellers who prefer a fully digital and contactless purchase experience.

How does it work?

The automated retail solution allows travellers to buy directly from an interactive touch-screen menu of the bestselling duty free products, initially starting with tobacco.

This digital unit can also cater for the sales of other duty free goods like fragrances, skincare, cosmetics and other duty paid goods (while the selling of alcohol is prohibited in Switzerland).

Travel and age verification checks are made using an integrated scanner for boarding passports and identity cards, and once payment is made, the relevant compartment doors automatically open and the customer can retrieve their items, and the associated customs documentation and receipts are issued.

The vending unit has been positioned in the arrivals lounge outside the Aelia Duty Free store in Geneva Airport to complement the opening hours of the shop and maximise the opportunity of final impulse purchases at this final shopping touchpoint in the passenger journey.

In addition to the large touchscreen on the front of the automated retail unit, there are two large sides screens providing the ability to showcase the bestselling products and digital media opportunities for brands to further extend their visibility, reach and deliver fully integrated, marketing campaigns across all available channels in the airport and in-store.

Extending the reach and success of digital shopping experiences

The launch of this custom-designed digital vending machine marks an extension and new milestone in the company’s partnership with French company Inflyter to improve travellers’ digital duty free shopping experiences.

The relationship has already enabled passengers to and from Geneva Airport to shop duty free using the Inflyter app and collect in-store at the airport. More recently Lagardère Travel Retail Switzerland has further enhanced the service to give their customer’s more choice and convenience by allowing them to have their duty free purchases delivered at their boarding gate.

Commenting on today’s news, Pascal Le Droff, CEO of Lagardère Travel Retail Switzerland, said: “This new digital installation sees us launch our first fully automated, self-service sales channel which will optimise our operational costs while generating incremental revenue from what would be a non-viable commercial space at the airport.

“With international passenger numbers starting to pick up, we want to be at the forefront of digital transformation and actively explore how we can offer innovation that better services our existing duty free shoppers and reach new ones.”

While Geneva Airport’s commercial director, Pierre Gemain, enthused: “This innovative, fully digital, automated retail unit gives our arriving passengers another choice as to how, where and when they shop and allows us to assist our retail partners in securing new sales channels and revenue opportunities for their business.”

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