Treasury Wine Estates has kicked off an expansion into the $US39 billion ($41.5 billion) global travel retail market to ensure its wines aren't left out of the rush by other international luxury brands such as Chanel, Swarovski, Prada and Gucci vying for shelf space at the world's newest and most ritziest airports, duty-free shops and cruise liners.
The renewed pitch to the travelling public comes amid a plethora of new airport expansions and openings, especially in the Middle East and Asia, with these ''new cathedrals of the 21st century'' encompassing massive lounges and upmarket shopping precincts that are increasingly focused on luxury goods.
Treasury Wine believes the wine category remains underdeveloped at airports, lagging behind the spirits sector which dominates 70 per cent of all alcohol sales, and believes its Penfolds and Wolf Blass wines can find their way into the shopping bags of high-spending global travellers, especially from China.
Following last year's deal with Nuance Group, one of the world's biggest travel retailers, to open a maiden standalone Penfolds store at Sydney Airport, Treasury Wine has appointed Daevid Warren to head its Middle East and Africa business. Mr Warren will be based in Dubai where he will also lead the group's global travel retail operations.
Mr Warren will use his 20 years' experience in the retail sector, including stints with World Duty Free and spirits group Bacardi Martini, to ensure the winemaker's leading brands are front and centre at airport lounges, bars and duty-free shops as well as aboard luxury cruise ships that criss-cross the globe.
Treasury Wine has also appointed two more executives within its global travel retail sales and marketing teams to support the company's lofty earnings ambitions.
While the general retail sector continues to flat line in the face of tough trading conditions and anxious consumers, the global travel industry is in a strong growth trajectory backed by international passenger growth rates of 4 per cent plus (6 per cent plus in Asia), the emergence of low-cost carriers and continued strong investment in new airport terminals with larger retail space.