October 25 2018  |  Fashion, Bags & Accessories

Suppliers celebrate 10 years of sunglasses category partnership in Cannes

By Mary Jane Pittilla

A celebratory cake-cutting with the 2018 winners and judges on stage closed the 10th Sunglasses Workshop in Cannes

Dufry, MSC Cruises and Gebr Heinemann were among the retailers that scooped awards at the 10th Sunglasses Workshop and eighth Sunglasses Awards, held at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes.

Designed to support the growth of the sunglasses category in travel retail, the session was co-hosted by leading suppliers De Rigo, Essilor, Kering Eyewear, Luxottica, Marchon, Marcolin, Maui Jim, and Safilo.

The workshop began with an update on the latest sunglasses category performance, presented by FILTR Managing Director Alex Cook. The latest Generation Research data showed that the sunglasses category was worth US$1.81 billion in 2017 in the channel; up 4.6% versus 2016. The fastest-growing region for the category was the Americas at 13.6%, and the fastest-growing channel was airports at 7.7%.

A panel discussion included DFS Group Global Merchandising Director Fashion, Watches, Jewelry and Accessories Jason Blejwas; Dufry Group Head of Global Category Management Watches, Jewelry and Accessories Beat Schärer; The Shilla Duty Free Senior Director Fashion & Accessory Group Jeff Lee; and Harding Retail Director Buying & Merchandising Suzanne Mahoney.

The panelists covered topics such as category strategies, new developments, the role of digital and how landlords, retailers and brand owners could work better together to drive growth. The session was interspersed with videos of consumers talking about the sunglasses category.

The climax of the event was the annual Sunglasses Awards, rewarding the best-in-class activities in the category over the last 12 months.

The winners of the awards in eight categories were:

Best New Sunglasses Environment: King Power International Group – Rangnam Downtown;

Best Marketing Activity for the Sunglasses Category: DFS Group;

Best Digital Initiative for the Sunglasses Category: Shilla Duty Free;

Best Dedicated Sunglasses Sales Team: PAC Beirut Duty Free;

Most Supportive Airport Authority for the Sunglasses Category: Dubai Airports;

Best Off-Airport Retailer of Sunglasses: DFS Group;

Sunglasses Retailer of the Year (turnover below US$2 billion): MSC Cruises;

Sunglasses Retailer of the Year (turnover above US$2 billion): Dufry.

The judges also unveiled a commemorative Category Partnership Award to mark the 10th year of the Sunglasses workshop in Cannes, which was awarded to Gebr Heinemann.

Award entries were independently judged by senior executives from the suppliers: Alessandra Piccin, Duty Free & Licensor Boutiques Sales Manager, De Rigo; Francesco Leccisi, Head of Asia Pacific & Global Duty Free, Essilor; Omar Hagi, Global Head of Travel Retail & International Key Accounts, Kering Eyewear;

Alessandro Pozzi, Global Channels Director, Luxottica Group; Erwan Le Guennec, International Travel Retail Director, Marchon; Lucilla Tremonti, Duty Free & Travel Retail Sales Manager, Marcolin; Giles Marks, Director Duty Free Sales, Maui Jim; and Frederic Laffort, Head of North of Europe, Global Channels (Travel Retail, Department Stores) & Global accounts, Safilo Group.

A celebratory cake-cutting closed the event with the 2018 winners and judges on stage to mark the 10th anniversary.

The co-sponsors commented: “The Sunglasses Workshop and Awards is a unique partnership between industry stakeholders and it has been a fantastic 10 years together. The category has moved from US$711 million to US$1.81 billion in annual sales over this period. Having quality retailers such as DFS, Dufry, Shilla and Harding up on stage was an amazing testament to the relevance and support that the category enjoys. Congratulations to all those short-listed and of course to the deserving winners of the 2018 awards. We look forward to new voices and fresh perspectives being involved in 2019, and we push on towards the lofty 2020 Vision.”

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