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ISG targets further growth across existing channels

Hong Kong-based inflight concessionaire Inflight Sales Group (ISG) is targeting further growth across its existing channels having recently retained its contract to run the inflight duty-free shopping programmes onboard Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) and its Dragonair (KA) subsidiary. ISG, in partnership with onboard retail and payment technology specialist Guestlogix, also signed an agreement last month to deploy its inflight and retail technology across the entire CX and KA fleet.

The new contract to run the inflight duty-free shopping programmes onboard CX and KA flights is for four years and will commence on July 1 2013. ISG has been working with Cathay Pacific since 1999 and Dragonair since 2007 and managing director Tony Detter is looking forward to continuing both partnerships. He told DFNIonline: “Retaining the Cathay Pacific and Dragonair contract was very important for the company overall. It was also important to defend our home territory of Hong Kong.

“Our goals are first and foremost to further grow the business in existing channels, which means working even harder to deliver the core pillars of exclusivity, newness and savings. We must continue to outperform our region.”

Detter will continue working with both airlines to improve quality and innovation. He said: “CX Group has more support from senior management than ever before and we all have a strong commitment to further improve our quality and innovation. We are working with the strongest inflight technology provider in the market and are really focused on future-proofing all our technology solutions so we are prepared to work with new platforms when they are available on and off the plane.”

CX and KA will both benefit from new GuestLogix hardware according to Detter. “GuestLogix is our current technology partner on three other airlines and Cathay Pacific Group will benefit from its newest generation hardware with Near Field Communication capabilities and superior speed/storage.

“We will also deploy the GuestLogix Onboard Analytics Platform on both airlines, which is based on a business intelligence platform which we understand is employed by eight of the world’s top 10 retail chains and is quite powerful.”

In terms of products, both airlines share common listings of about 60-70% and differentiate on the other 30%. He explained: “Cathay is a more complex airline, flying to more regions and having a more diverse product mix, while Dragonair is focused on Asia with core strength in greater China, so their [product] mix is targeted to their core customers.”

Reflecting on overall 2012 performance, Detter points to an organic growth in challenging circumstances. “Last year was quite a roller-coaster. We managed to grow our business organically but it was uneven between markets. The focus on tactical promotions helped drive the top-line in quarter four.

“The top-selling categories [onboard] were skincare, watches, cosmetics and electronics and I expect those to be pretty consistent in 2013,” he concluded.