One step at a time: Costa focuses on global expansion in travel retail

With its sights set on expansion, Florida-based Costa will present its latest range of sunglasses and lifestyle products at this month’s IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas in Orlando (Atrium B).

The 2017 range includes 11 new styles for men including Kiwa, Reefton and Cook and new Gannet, Kare and Riverton designs for women. Costa will also highlight its clothing and accessories range which includes caps and visors, t-shirts and hoodies.

Costa sunglasses: “Born on the water”

Costa sunglasses were developed more than 30 years ago “by fishermen for fishermen” to withstand tough conditions. The brand is known for its Costa 580 lenses, which are said to enhance colours and offer 100% protection from UV light by absorbing harmful high-energy blue light.

The brand, part of the Essilor group, is well-established in the domestic market in the coastal regions of the USA. Its products appeal to adventure seekers, water lovers, anglers and millennials.

Costa Director of International Sales Monty Montanez said: “We’ve built a truly authentic brand, based on quality products with leading lens technology and coupled that with a community marketing strategy, that has helped us build the most loyal and engaged fan base there is today.

Monty Montanez: “Travel retail is our window to the rest of the world”

“Our plan is to extend that strategy to our international customers who share the same love of adventure, travel and life on the water.”

Montanez joined the company in November 2016 and is responsible for sales in travel retail and duty free as well as the development of new markets outside the USA.

“Travel retail is our window to the rest of the world and to becoming a truly global brand,” he said.

Montanez said airport stores are vital in the brand’s travel retail expansion plans but emphasised the importance of cruise ship outlets, border and downtown duty free stores. “Consumers are seeing the product and getting to know what we offer. Being where they are living their life’s experiences is crucial to us,” he added.

Montanez, who described Costa’s approach to travel retail as ‘deliberate’ and ‘ambitious’, said that the first step is to expand in the USA, the Caribbean and the Americas. He added that travel retail offered an “ideal” environment for Costa.

“Our vision is to leverage the channel to capitalise on the strong awareness Costa has in the US and extend this loyal following to new territories, especially tourist destinations where our water lovers can experience the full benefit of our Costa 580 technology.”

Costa sunglasses were originally developed by fishermen for fishermen

“Step two, and a natural progression, would be Europe and Oceania, in particular Australia and New Zealand,” Montanez said. “Our goal in five years is to build Costa into the leading performance sunglass brand for water lovers everywhere. We will accomplish this by delivering the best brand experience, the clearest lenses on the planet and by establishing strong retail partnerships.”

Costa recently relaunched its website which highlights its commitment to conservation and preservation programmes including, Ocearch (shark tagging, open-sourced research and education) and Kick Plastic.

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