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Brief Published: 2 Sep 2013

Benefit’s Automated Airport Beauty


US cosmetics retailer Benefit is targeting on-the-go travellers with the launch of self-service kiosks in airports.

Having already been installed at two airports earlier this month – JFK in New York and Austin, Texas – a total of 25 Glam Up and Away kiosks will be rolled out to additional US airports, with plans for international installations from 2014.

In line with Benefit’s playful, kitsch branding, the kiosks have been designed as pink vintage buses and function as vending machines – allowing customers to select from the brand’s top 30 bestselling products via a digital touchscreen interface, as well as viewing expert beauty tips.

Created in collaboration with automated retail company ZoomSystems, the machines combine the convenience of having a product delivered instantly with an online browsing experience.

A report from London-based market research firm Mintel in May 2013 showed that 34% of European flyers make unplanned purchases in airport shops. For these impulse shoppers, the limited product range and speed of transaction provided by Benefit’s vending machine format makes it easy for them to stock up on essentials. 

For more on using vending machines as a tool to catch consumers in transit, see the Nomadic Retailing section of the Anywhere Retailing industry trend and Vend: New-Generation Retail Automation.

Airports are becoming an increasingly important part of the retail mix: the sector is forecast to grow to $39.1bn in sales by 2015, according to international marketing intelligence company Datamonitor. Fashion newswire WWD has reported that the Benefit kiosks could see retail sales of between $3-5m in their first year.

Also see Dixon’s Tech-Savvy Concept Shop, Tesco’s Virtual Shopping Walls, New Retail Runway and New Airport Design.