Dixons Travel has signed a 12-month contract to continue operating on P&O Cruises’ Ventura vessel following a successful six-month trial period.
Last August the electronics retailer opened its first Dixons Travel cruise store on Ventura. The 274sq ft outlet was located in a central position on deck seven. Guests had the chance to purchase the latest technology at cheaper prices than online.
The outlet has increased by around 50% in size and slightly re-located since the signing of the contract.
Constantly trading while the ship was at sea, opening times otherwise varied in accordance with daily port departure times.
WIDE BRAND RANGE
The Dixons Travel store onboard Ventura provides a wide range of technology brands in one place for guests while they travel.
Brands such as Apple, Beats, Canon, Samsung, Microsoft and Monster were all represented during the test period. Top-sellers included binoculars, a surprise hit among guests and tablets.
Shoppers made the most of online-beating prices along with the retailer’s ‘Double the Difference’ promise. If the same item was found cheaper at Amazon, John Lewis, Argos or Jessops (third party sellers excluded) consumers received an instant discount of double the difference.
Speaking to TRBusiness as part of a wide-ranging interview, Heidi Woodhouse, Managing Director Dixons Travel and Concessions at Dixons Carphone said: “We signed the contract about six weeks ago after a successful testing period. The store is doing well and really interesting.
“We are also looking at other opportunities within the Carnival Cruises portfolio and might well extend the P&O contract when the current agreement ends.”
Revealing to TRBusiness its findings during the six-month trial period, Woodhouse commented: “We found there was a different type of customer to the airline customer, but in terms of the proposition, training and all that kind of thing it was the same.
“We also found there was a slightly different product mix, but for the most part it was very similar. It worked really well for us and really well for Carnival. That is why we signed the 12-month contract.”
Further expanding its cruise footprint is certainly on the agenda, emphasised Woodhouse. She said: “The cruise market is growing rapidly. It is expected to be 50% bigger in 10 years’ time, so why shouldn’t we try and capitalise on this with our proposition?”
Meanwhile, Dixons Travel is to open new German stores at Frankfurt (two airside stores) and Düsseldorf International Airports (three airside stores) in the first quarter of the next calendar year.
As reported, each store will merchandise leading brands as part of varied portfolio that includes computing, audio, imaging, phones and smart appliances and replicate its award-winning format launched in Heathrow T3 last year.
Product demonstration zones and a mobile charging area will also feature, with store experts available to handle repairs and enable passengers to demonstrate smart-controlled technology.
Currently, Dixons Travel operates stores in all major UK airports, along with two outlet in Dublin Airport and two in Oslo Gardermoen.
In related news, Woodhouse has confirmed to TRBusiness that the Heathrow T3 store concept will soon be rolled out in T5. “We are going to be rolling it out [in Heathrow T5] in September. It will be refresh of our current T3 store which is our largest and flagship outlet.
“It will also be rolled out into the international lounges in Frankfurt and Dusseldorf where they have a lot of business customers.“
See a future edition of TRBusiness for more from the interview with Heidi Woodhouse, Managing Director Dixons Travel and Concessions at Dixons Carphone.