Air travel is no longer just about walking into an airport with the blinkered aim of catching a flight. From being mere exit and entry zones in different cities, airports have morphed into spaces where discerning travellers can indulge in lifestyle options to please their heart.
Indian airports have transformed in the last few years to provide an experience that is comparable to the best worldwide. Here, swanky areas provide shopping opportunities for travellers who get the luxury of looking at different brands under one roof – a one-stop offer in a relaxed environment that does not leave you breathless, the way many crowded malls would.
With the way the airports have reinvented their spaces to keep pace with the changing needs of its travellers – both Indian and international – the bar has been raised. What makes airports a perfect shopping zone is the added awareness in a traveller’s mind that this is the last opportunity to do some last-minute shopping for a loved one at home. So, whether it is a watch, a bottle of rare wine or a delicate perfume, all the traveller needs to do is to walk across to the shop and pick what is needed.
Tapping into the new retail sector is the leading force in the country’s luxury watch business, Ethos Swiss Watch Studios. The company that started with one store in 2003 in Chandigarh, has slowly expanded in less than a decade to operate 24 studios and boutiques across the country in cities like Bengaluru, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Ludhiana and Mumbai. In its spacious, serene interiors are on show more than 35 premium Swiss watch brands.
With its entry into airports, Ethos Swiss Watch Studios promises to be the defining purchase point for travellers who know how to spot and buy a great find. It was in the Garden City that Ethos created its first space in an airport (Bengaluru International Airport, Departures) in 2008 which was followed by another swanky store in Delhi T1 Departures. Two more followed in 2010 in the country’s commercial and political capitals – Mumbai Airport (Domestic) and Delhi’s newly completed T3. On the anvil are Ethos outlets in the airports in Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
It is well known that authenticity, transparency and exclusivity lie at the core of Ethos and the same mantras permeate their airport outlets. The stores at each airport have been given a distinctive feel that underlines the Ethos trademark. Customer satisfaction is guaranteed at the Ethos stores. Sanjiv Sachar of Gurgaon says, “Ethos is a benchmark in high quality customer service. Their knowledgeable team invests time in understanding the customer’s need and gives honest and true advice to choose from their excellent selection across global brands.”
Speaking about his Ethos experience, leading fashion photographer and Carl F. Bucherer’s brand ambassador, Atul Kasbekar says, “It’s always a delight to work with people with a deep interest and passion for their work. The gentlemen at Ethos are the very embodiment of the same.”
The development of the retail segment at airports endorses the fact that the watch market – like other luxe segments – in India is fast evolving from a largely functional market to a fashion, prestige and luxury market. No wonder then that airports are now the new premium places where jet-setters can pause for a moment in their schedule to pick up treasured buys. So, it’s time to put some real shopping into your travel itinerary…and this time, at airports, where else?
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