#232: Innovation in China with Lagardère Travel Retail (Short Summary Show)

The global Covid crisis challenged many businesses to the brink of survival, especially in the travel industry.

Across airlines, hotels, hospitality and duty free, with global travel volumes almost non-existent, these travel companies were challenged to innovate in ways they may never have imagined before.

Lagardère Travel Retail saw the pandemic as an incredible opportunity to create compelling new channel with their customers, creating an entirely new sales and marketing approach that their customers loved!

In this short episode, we summarise what we learned from Chief Executive Officer Eudes Farbe, and Chief Information Officer, Adam McCarthy to understand their unique, world-class solution in the absence of duty free customers in their airports across China.

Listen to learn how Lagardère created such significant value using their loyalty program and leveraged China’s unique digital eco-system to achieve a profitable new route to market that has proven to be pandemic-proof.

Show Notes:
  1. Lagardère Travel Retail
  2. Eudes Farbe
  3. Adam McCarthy

Audio Transcript

Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas. And if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world.


This episode is sponsored by Epsilon. Today, I’m delighted to announce a unique opportunity for one lucky listener of let’s talk loyalty to enjoy a complimentary workshop with the loyalty experts at Epsilon one brand every month, we’ll have the chance for a unique, independent loyalty lab, a review of your loyalty program where Epsilon will share their expert ideas, how to drive your program’s performance to a whole new level.


This workshop is a powerful way for you to measure and then increase the return on your investment in your loyalty program. So to apply head over to letstalkloyalty.com/epsilon and enter your details.


Hello, and welcome to this week’s short episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. When I’m looking back on my conversation from March, 2021 with Lagardère Travel Retail based in Shanghai, I met with Adam McCarthy, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Executive Officer, Eudes Farbe. This is one of my all time favorite episodes, as it proved the potential value of a loyalty program, even in the face of a global challenge, like the COVID pandemic.


Lagar dare sought as an unique opportunity to innovate and their loyalty initiative became a unique asset and a separate profitable division of the business by way of background. What is truly amazing to me is that before COVID a number of years ago, lack our dare quite simply. We’re just keeping an Excel spreadsheet of their top customers data.


Now, despite the impact and travel and juicy free sales worldwide lack, our dare has grown into a powerful loyalty program with over 1.6 million members. At the time of recording. What I really thought was so innovative in this program was how lack are dare effectively leveraged technology such as the super platforms in China to connect with their customer.


Creating almost the same intimacy and connection with their customers as they do in their retail stores. Clearly, this is so hard to do for most of us in the digital world. Their loyalty program is presented by their duty-free retail staff who know the product range and all of the luxury. And this created a unique way to showcase these luxury products to members of the program in a way that reminded me almost of luxury QVC TV in the United States, it was essentially a whole new way for staff to sell to their duty-free customers.


Even when they couldn’t fly, their members could also interact with the staff and even with. Creating a community in a way that simply would not have been possible before this hugely innovative idea emerged the lag. Our dare program is also actually providing entertainment for loyalty program members with its unique premium content.


And it sounds so much more engaging than any e-commerce business that I’ve seen. It was super interesting to hear about loyalty programs in China as an ecosystem, which can include inviting members to networking dinners and events, where they can meet and mingle with other members in real life. So their members don’t just get merchandise or discounts, but truly personalized experiences that build great emotional loyalty.


If you’re interested in understanding some of the fascinating differences between loyalty programs in Europe or north America compared to China, you must check out this episode. It’s available anytime on letstalkloyalty.com/88. So tomorrow now please do join me again. When I’m chatting with Kim Hardaker, who leads the Etihad Guest Program from Etihad airways, then I’m back in the world of convenience retail on Thursday with Nicole Auman.


Who’s sharing insights from a us loyalty leader, cold. Thanks again for listening today. All about Lagardere travel retail and their unique loyalty innovation. 


This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer. The world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights, and research. The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 245 executives in 27 countries as certified loyalty marketing professional. For more information, check out thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org.


Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. If you’d like us to send you the latest shows each week, simply sign up for the Let’s Talk Loyalty Newsletter on letstalkloyalty.com and we’ll send our best episodes straight to your inbox, and don’t forget that you can follow let’s talk loyalty on any of your favorite podcast platforms.


And of course we’d love for you to share your feedback and reviews. 


Thanks again for supporting this show.