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(formerly Counter Intelligence Retail)

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European Border stores reveal growth opportunities

Europe’s border shopping business remains under-exploited, according to a newly completed research report by Counter Intelligence Retail (CiR). The sub-channel has a much smaller share of the duty free and travel retail (DF&TR) pie in Europe compared to other key regions such as the Americas and Asia Pacific, but there are several opportunities to change this. 

Exclusive research from travel retail analyst, research and category expert, completed in June 2017 shows that the vast majority of European border stores visitors go on to make a purchase (87%) which is positive news. 

However, the report – entitled European Border Store 2017 – reveals that conversion rates for some categories could be much higher, suggesting that those 87% of shoppers could be taking home a bigger basket than they do today. The conversion rates range from as high as 75% for alcohol, the most visited and purchased category, to as low as 28% for one of the other five product categories analysed. 

Furthermore, the border sub-channel – often regarded as purely price-driven – appears to have room for trading up. Two in five shoppers purchased a more premium product compared to what they would normally buy at home, with two specific nationalities significantly more likely to do so, based on the responses.

Garry Stasiulevicuis, President, Counter Intelligence Retail, comments: “The European border business is changing and the stores are improving. Our latest research shows that 73% of store visitors rate their overall experience as ‘good’ – and while price is the key driver, non-regular brands now make up close to half of purchases, which shows a willingness to experiment, helped by in-store promotions.”

Millennials have a higher tendency towards non-regular brands than average, and impulse purchasing is greatest for confectionery and lowest for tobacco and jewellery/watches across all shoppers.

The new report goes into detail on the every aspect of European border store shopping, clearly identifying the trends and offering insights and recommendations based on the research findings.

Selected elements of the report include:

  • identifying shopper types by demography and nationality
  • the store experience and perception drivers
  • category footfall and purchasing
  • pre-trip research planning
  • staff interaction and influence
  • non-buyer profiles and visiting barriers
  • detailed category breakdowns  

Available now, this report offers significant potential for retailers and brands, priced at £5,000 (GBP). It joins the Asia Border Stores and American Border Stores reports, also published in 2017 and all available now.

To find out more about this report or to discuss, please contact Stephen Hillam at or visit here to view sample pages