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Introduction by: Peter Marshall

How ready for change are airports, travel retailers and brands? This interview with Ibrahim Ibrahim, Managing Director of Portland Design, was recorded earlier this year and is the first of a four part series to be featured on this month. It is thought leadership in extremis and is one of the most important interviews about the industry that I have had the privilege to conduct over the past few years. It leads the way forward.

Our conversation steps beyond the core text of Ibrahim’s book Future Ready Retail. I am not over-promising, but the interview content, which is fairly provocative, invites you to think and look differently at how airports, travel retailers and brands can best connect with today’s travelling passengers. For example, He argues quite forcibly that airports and retailers should kick their addiction to transactional retail into touch and, for airports in particular, that they should be obsessed with creating a genuine ‘spirit of place’.

We cover the ‘sweet spot’ for brands, who’s doing it well at the moment – both airports and brands – and move on to discussing the death of demographic segmentation with behavior-based segmentation and how marketing communications is now being replaced by marketing connections. All this and more in Part 1.

In summary, in a world of retail Darwinism, a new mindset and direction is now a commercial imperative.


Peter Marshall

Founder: Arts
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