Beach Culture venture builds airport Nuance
The Beach Culture chain of fashion stores is set to expand internationally as a result of a new joint venture with the global travel retailer The Nuance Group.
Beach Culture will target international airport arrival and departure lounges to capture the lucrative tourist dollar.
The new partnership will let Beach Culture maintain control of its creative and production processes, whilst utilising the Nuance Group´s logistical and distribution platform.
The Swissair-owned Nuance Group is one of the largest travel retailers, with stores such as Downtown Duty Free and City Duty-Free operating out of the airports of 42 countries.
Beach Culture managing director Mr John Brooks said that as a result of the deal, the first overseas outlet would be operating by December, and within five years, Beach Culture stores would be operating throughout the countries in which their new partner was operating.
"Every country - land-locked or not - has a beach culture," he said.
"Even in Australia, beach culture exists not on the sand or out in the waves, but across the street, in the cafes - T-shirts, boardshorts and all the fashion product we sell have become part of everyday wear.
"In other parts of the world over the past few years, we´ve seen Nike and Adidas and other athletic products maintain a significant market share in the lifestyle fashion market, but we believe surf culture and surf wear, has an equally prominent place to occupy."
Mr Brooks said the international expansion of Beach Culture stores would focus on airports and other key locations, as it did in Australia.
Fifteen of Beach Culture´s Australian outlets operate in airports, a practice which Mr Brooks says has been beneficial for two reasons.
"Airports provide the ideal launch pad for our global aspirations. The exposure they provide for our product to a global audience is very important - it is a fantastic piece of test marketing we´ve been able to do."
Mr Brooks said airport locations had greatly assisted Beach Culture in the marketing of beach labels to a clientele other than surfers.
"An airport is a very unusual market place.
" It provides a greater breadth of customer than the traditional shopping centre and exposes our product to people who would not usually find themselves shopping in the local surf store."
Sydney Airports Corporation spokesman Mr Peter Gibbs said that Beach Culture´s expansion into international airports was indicative of the changing nature of airports.
"Airports are no longer just service centres," Mr Gibbs said.
"They have evolved to become specialised retail environments.
"Over the past 10 years there has been a distinct trend for airports to expand from being bald infrastructure, with runways and a terminal building, to being much more, for many people," the airport spokesman said.
By Michael Bradley
Reported at smh.com.au
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