It's not uncommon for us to rely on the duty-free area of the airport to quickly buy a souvenir or a present to take home.
But often the stores in the departure terminal are limited in selection, not stocked with favorite brands or items, or the preferred store is located entirely in another area of the airport.
Once you've found what you're looking for, it's all the more annoying for customers and store operators when only the wrong color or size is in stock. At present, there is no way to find out about the offers and products beforehand and to be inspired by what is on offer.
This situation gave rise to the idea for DutyFreak. After its founding in 2020, the start-up initially devoted itself to research and surveys on airport shopping behavior. "Whether today or for future travel, the experience and inspiration for passengers at airports plays a crucial role," commented Dr. Peter Mohn - CEO of M1nd-Set.com Research. The results also showed that the growth of the retail sector has not yet been responded to with digitization and e-commerce. There are airport apps that allow online shopping of duty-free items, but no app provides an overview of all airports, stores and their products.
DutyFreak's vision is that within the next five years, all airport products and services will be available centrally in the DutyFreak app. This will make it possible to pre-order products before arriving at the airport, to pay contactless (pre-paid) and to pick them up easily and conveniently at the given travel time. Win-win for passengers and store operators, because this experience increases customer satisfaction and thus revenue potential.
Synergies also result from DutyFreak joining the association at GATE. With the start-up, GATE strengthens its expertise in travel-retail and the start-up in turn benefits from the association's large global network in the airport industry. "We will establish and rock the retail business at GATE," promises Founder & CEO Sebastian Bürkle. "In addition, we are of course looking forward to the constructive exchange and networking with other airport and store operators as well as brands and airlines to help DutyFreak grow."
The DutyFreak app is in its final beta phase, with launch planned for the summer. The goal, also with the support of GATE, is to solidify the relationship with airports and stores that are already interested and to get another handful of airports, or 42 store operators, on board in 2022. "We are already excited to see what new ideas the fresh wind of this dynamic start-up will bring to GATE," comments Jens Reinhard, Managing Director of GATE.