Wednesday, 17 January 2024 10:55

Comvita flies into airport

Written by  Jessica Marshall
Comvita’s new Auckland airport store includes a large-scale hive ceiling feature which was created using 10,000 beeswax dipped fabric sheets. Comvita’s new Auckland airport store includes a large-scale hive ceiling feature which was created using 10,000 beeswax dipped fabric sheets.

As the world shifts to post-pandemic norms, honey producer Comvita is taking advantage by opening a new Auckland Airport store.

The new store, designed as a multi-sensory experience, is part of a partnership with Lagardere (Aelia Duty Free).

Comvita chief executive David Banfield says it’s important for the company to have a retail outlet at Auckland International Airport because it allows for the company to connect with consumers.

“Connection is an incredibly important part of the Comvita difference,” says Banfield.

“Airports, particularly Auckland Airport, is an important connection point for us to our overseas market where we are successful as a premium brand to our home in New Zealand,” he told Rural News.

He says that while the partnership with Lagardere has been in place since 2017, the new store is different from others Comvita has previously had in the airport.

“In March 2021, we opened our Wellness Lab in Central Auckland. It was based on an experiential retail concept, so this is the first time we’ve been able to bring that out of the Wellness Lab and put it in a place where you’ve got millions of tourists and consumers coming through.”

The new store includes a large-scale hive ceiling feature which can be seen throughout the Aela Duty Free space which was created using 10,000 beeswax dipped fabric sheets with beeswax sourced from Comvita’s hives.

There is also a custom 1.2 fine pixel pitch LED screen that was sourced to create an animated element featuring filmed footage of bees, mānuka, and honey.

Banfield told Rural News the site’s digital capability allows tourists and consumers to get a “bees’ eye view” of the terroir of New Zealand.

“We also give a moment to sort of escape from the mad world by having a virtual tasting and just that knowledge that you’re doing something nice for yourself at the same time,” he explains.

He says that during the pandemic, Comvita had to shift quickly to remote work and e-commerce, but now “retail is back”.

“Consumers are coming back to interact with us and connect with us… and it’s also a great lead measure to underline consumer demand,” Banfield says.

“We get to hear first-hand how consumers are using our products and the impact that we have.”

As many retailers shift to e-commerce, Banfield says physical stores and locations are still important because of the ability to connect with consumers.

“It ultimately moves the connection to be both head and heart, that realization of a connection there is super important.

“I would say one other thing that, you know, we see it with our teams around the world… through the pandemic period, whilst we have worked well being remote, you see a human importance of connection and these spaces allow us to connect in a beautiful way.”

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