November 09th, 2020

Leading travel essentials brand Relay unveils new generation concept & brand identity

Lagardère Travel Retail today unveils a new concept and brand identity for its Relay stores with an ambition to become more customer-centric and allow for greater in-store flexibility and agility. The investment is testament to the company’s commitment to the Travel Essentials segment, which has shown the greatest resilience in the Covid-19 crisis.

Since 1852, Relay stores have been the preferred one-stop shop at airports and railway stations for travelers to purchase the essentials to their journey. To further align Relay with passengers’ expectations and to increase the operational efficiency of stores, Lagardère Travel Retail has announced the launch of a new concept and brand identity for Relay.

A new concept to enhance and simplify the shopping journey

Featuring a new graphic identity and store design to create a friendly feel for customers and facilitate their shopping journey, the concept is also fully flexible to allow for a quick and simple adaptation of the store lay-out, merchandising and product offering. Dedicated spaces to showcase local products are also part of the new concept in order to respond to customers’ desire to find uniqueness and a sense of place wherever they are. The passenger’s shopping journey is made seamless through the introduction of a new check-out experience.

The new Relay concept also features:

  • New category universes, which have been introduced to better highlight the product offering with distinctive design and merchandising for each category. Thanks to a flexible merchandising and layout, categories can be switched to align to changing customer trends and passenger mix (for example during the sanitary crisis the focus has been on convenience products, less on gifts)
  • The iconic Relay red storefront has been enhanced with a grey banner to introduce partner brands
  • Communication tools have also been integrated into to further support promotional offers and allow for product recommendation
  • Digital communications have been included into the concept through store front digital animation and in-store screens

A new brand universe which puts the customer back at the centre

« Travel made special »: the new Relay brand positioning supports the idea that for long-hauls and daily commutes alike, Relay offers travelers everything they need to upgrade their journeys, turning them into enjoyable, personal experiences. The new brand – supported by the “Relay. Make your journey more” tagline – is articulated around four pillars:

  1. One-stop shop. Relay offers all the travel essentials travelers may need, all in one place.
  2. Efficient & adaptable. Relay offers a seamless, versatile experience for consumers & businesses alike.
  3. Cultural awareness. With a current, daily stream of trend and culture-related content, culture is a central component of Relay’s DNA.
  4. Global presence - As a multi-channel, multi-market travel retail brand, Relay is for travelers everywhere, at every point in their journeys.

In order to reinforce our CSR commitments, Relay also encourages responsible and safe travel. This is done through three tangible engagements: a responsible offer, the encouragement of better consumption, and the introduction of localness into product ranges.

Commenting on the announcement, Lucio Rossetto, Chief Business Officer, Lagardère Travel Retail, said: «Relay is a well-known brand to travelers throughout the world, and for many it’s where the travel really starts. To maintain this emotional connection between Relay and its customers and better keep up with their needs, we needed to evolve both the concept and the brand identity. With the new Generation of Relay stores, we are further investing into a franchise, and a segment we believe in. Under the most challenging circumstance, Relay has demonstrated its great resilience and more importantly has managed to remain an important stop-over in passengers’ journeys.”

A commitment to Travel Essentials which builds on the resilience of the segment

Of the three business lines Lagardère Travel Retail operates, Travel Essentials is the one to demonstrate the greatest resilience, and the fastest recovery rate. This resilience relies on both its multi-channel nature (major footprint in rail, shopping centres as well as in airports) and a multi-category offer which has benefitted from other stores being closed during lockdowns, such as restaurants. The crisis has been an opportunity to reveal the truly essential nature of Travel Essentials stores. In 2019, Travel Essentials represented €2.2 billion, 41% of Lagardère Travel Retail’s total sales.

New generation Relay stores have already opened in Madrid Atocha station, Nantes Atlantique airport and train station, Prague airport (7 stores) and Berlin’s new Brandensburg airport (4 stores). The new Relay concept will continue its global roll-out in 2020 and 2021, with new openings already planned in more than 7 countries across several regions (opening plan may vary depending on the sanitary context).