Nuance reveals impressive retail offer at St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport

Nuance CEO EMEA and Global Chief Commercial Officer Andrea Belardini and Northern Capital Gateway Commercial Director Evgeniy Ilin tour the new store

RUSSIA. Nuance has officially unveiled its new duty free and speciality stores in 3,200sq m of space at St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport. The stores were designed with the cultural, historic and architectural heritage of St. Petersburg in mind, and aim to deliver a powerful Sense of Place.

They will serve the 4 million passengers expected to travel through Pulkovo’s Main Terminal Building during its first year. [The Moodie Report was at the official opening and will bring you a special report in this week’s edition of The Moodie E-Zine, including an interview with Northern Capital Gateway Commercial Director Evgeniy Ilin.]

Nuance CEO EMEA and Global Chief Commercial Officer Andrea Belardini Belardini told The Moodie Report: “I am very pleased because I’m seeing a number of important projects we’ve been busy developing over the last few months come to life. In this very new and upgraded duty free store I see us achieving a number of objectives. In particular we’re striving – and I think we’re delivering – to bring more and more vibrancy, which of course for a company a that wants to be at the ‘heart of every journey’ [Nuance’s global tagline -Ed] is very important. [Scroll down for an extensive Podcast interview with Belardini].

“We’ve also tried to bring in more curiosity for the consumer… while the other element for me which is very important is to try to stretch the offer as much as possible. We’ve been able to cater to the growing opportunities in the high-end and premium market but at the same time been able to entice the less sophisticated consumers, who look more for bargain and entry prices, with the development of masstige products.”

Later in a statement he added: “I am delighted to welcome travellers to our exciting range of new stores in Pulkovo Airport. Our teams have worked intensively with our design and brand partners to pioneer innovative and memorable shopping environments, showcasing product innovations and novelties as well as presenting many industry firsts in Russian travel retail.”

The Moodie View: The Nuance Group @ Pulkovo St Petersburg Airport – Evolving the Core Categories

He continued: “This retail concept sets a landmark in Russian travel retail. It builds from our strength in driving core categories, as well as our experience in managing speciality business. I hope this will be something that the people of St. Petersburg can take great pride in.”

The terminal now features a 1,900sq m walk-through Duty Free Store

Northern Capital Gateway (the consortium that operates the airport) Commercial Director Evgeniy Ilyin added: “Nuance developed a unique concept based on creation of a remarkable atmosphere for the new passenger terminal which will complete the design and the interior of the airport, and will provide the best service for passengers.

“Pulkovo Airport thanks Nuance for its distinguished offer including commercial and operating strategies to increase duty free income at St. Petersburg Airport. We are sure that the cooperation of Nuance, one of the world’s biggest duty free operators, and a strong local partner with broad experience on the Russian duty free trade market, will be invaluable both for Pulkovo Airport and for its passengers.”

The Moodie Report Picture Gallery: A new look for Pulkovo St Petersburg Airport
The Moodie Report Picture Gallery: Specialist retail at Pulkovo St Petersburg Airport

Sense of Place
Nuance has designed the store architecture together with its long-term partner The Design Solution, with a concept built around Sense of Place. The companies said that “Peter the Great’s vision of creating a ‘Venice of the North’ formed the heart of our conceptual approach to the Duty Free Store design”.

St. Petersburg’s famous landmark, St Isaac’s Cathedral, was identified as a key feature of the city. The designers took its architectural qualities and threaded them throughout the store experience. The cathedral’s dome is referenced in a variety of ways, and materials synonymous with the cathedral’s interior were translated into the store with a contemporary twist.

Red ribbon, which represents the city’s canals, is woven across the store ceiling, guiding customers through the different store sections and categories.

The store features many of Nuance’s latest retail concepts

The Duty Free Store concept
The 1,900sq m walkthrough Duty Free Store is designed to maximise category management and offer clear visibility to passing customers. The wide entrance offers a first impression of the environment, with an event space located at the front of the store for new and seasonal items.

Along their journey, passengers are guided through the categories: from worlds of Liquor and Tobacco to Perfume & Cosmetics and then to Confectionery, which is located next to the tills allowing some impulsive purchases. A stand-alone Victoria’s Secret shop is in a highly visible location inside the Duty Free Store.

In what the retailer termed “a benchmark for Russian travel retail”, Pulkovo’s Duty Free Store features many of the Nuance’s own retail concepts such as the Connoisseurs’ Lounge, Walk-in Humidor plus the Haute Parfumerie with niche fragrances. Beauty also houses a dedicated shopping zone for men and a large masstige area.

Liquor, and spirits in particular, is key at this location; brands such as Jack Daniel’s have developed special ranges for Nuance in St. Petersburg (below)

The beauty range includes what Nuance says are many firsts for the travel retail market. There is the global debut of the full luxury exclusive fragrance line Carré Hermès Parfumeur and Hermès’ Bolduc table as well as a permanent execution of Gucci sunglasses & fragrance.

In addition, the P&C section introduces many new concepts and brands to Russian travel retail such as Dior’s La Collection Privée and Chanel’s Les Extraits, along with Jo Malone, Benefit, Bobbi Brown, Clarisonic, Nivea and Yves Rocher. One of the highlights is the unique Xerjoff niche fragrance, developed exclusively for Nuance in travel retail.

Belardini explained: “The shopping experience is designed to optimise the balance between different travellers and what they are looking for, and we aim to convert more browsers into buyers. We invested in premium opportunities through many special and even unique products with high price points, and on the other hand we are also featuring a number of masstige marks that offer convenience and attractive pricing, meeting the various needs of different passenger profiles travelling through Pulkovo Airport.”


“With regular travel increasingly becoming a way of life for many people, airports are dedicating additional space to increasing the speciality offers,” noted Belardini. “Our exciting multi-brand concepts stores at Pulkovo Airport represent the latest developments of our cutting-edge store portfolio.”

The Moodie View: The Nuance Group @ Pulkovo St Petersburg Airport – Specialist Retail

Nuance said its speciality offer is “a first of its kind” for Russia. Mono-brand stores include some highly popular brands among Russians: Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, Versace, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Longchamp and Swarovski.

The terminal houses a broad range of branded boutiques aimed at the Russian traveller

Nuance has also opened its latest developments for its multi-brand concepts: women’s leather accessories store Atelier; Sun Catcher – Nuance’s award winning sunglasses store; Master of Time – luxury watches and jewellery store, plus Spirit of St. Petersburg for souvenirs.

The offer is completed with new speciality formats recently launched by Nuance. These include fashion watches & jewellery store Temptation (recently opened in Zürich under the name Timebox); Travel Star, a luggage and travel accessories store; and Books and News.

Belardini concluded: “We strive to innovate and continuously enhance the passenger experience. We work in close cooperation with our brand partners to bring industry firsts, newness and excitement to the passengers. This continuous improvement is imperative to drive growth and to overcome any market challenges as they present themselves.”

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