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Travel retailer Hudson, has launched a new loyalty program across its roughly 1,000 stores in airports, commuter hubs and tourist destinations in North America with immediate discounts available to members. The timing is intended to drive greater spending per head at a time when passenger traffic is building back well across the United States and as competition between retailers such as rival Paradies Lagardère heats up.

According to data from Fitch Ratings, revealed at the recent GAD Americas airports event in Puerto Rico, markets such as Mexico, Colombia and the U.S. are leading the rest of the world in terms of traffic numbers getting back to 2019 levels.

In the first quarter of 2022, Dufry sales steadily rose as a percentage of the same period in 2019. By April, the Americas combined were at 83%, well ahead of EMEA’s 73% and Asia Pacific’s dire 16%.

From the day they sign up, Red By Dufry members start receiving discounts and earning points every time they shop. New members instantly obtain silver status, receiving 5% off most purchases no matter how often they shop or how much they spend. There are some exclusions, notably Apple
AAPL
, Beats, and Bose electronics items, plus magazines, newspapers, alcohol and tobacco.

As members accumulate more points they can unlock new membership tiers and bigger discounts: gold members get 7% off, and for platinum members it is a 10% discount. Other benefits, depending on the tier, include savings on car rentals from Avis and Sixt, and extra Red points when using the booking engine HotelsCombined.

Loyalty is part of a wider digital strategy

“Loyalty has always been a critical part of who Hudson is, so we are thrilled to provide our customers with even more ways to engage with us,” said Hudson CEO Jordi Martin-Consuegra in a statement. “With Red By Dufry, we are giving travelers yet another reason to shop at our stores.”

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Responding to questions, Martin-Consuegra, who took the helm almost a year ago, told me: “With the overall heightened demand for travel, and the peak summer season upon us, we think the timing is perfect to roll this out now. The launch also aligns with our overall digital transformation strategy. We have built a strong digital portfolio over the past two years through offerings like Hudson Nonstop and automated specialty retail. With Red By Dufry, we can engage with travelers before, during, and after they travel.”

This interaction during the passenger journey—usually via an app—is becoming increasingly vital to capturing spend, as well as obtaining data on spending habits. Swiss parent Dufry says: “When approaching airports, or other locations where Dufry operates shops, Red by Dufry identifies the customer and sends them the latest updates on locally available promotions.”

Martin-Consuegra declined to share the number of signed-up members that the Dufry loyalty scheme has worldwide. However the CEO said: “We anticipate that Red By Dufry will be enthusiastically received in our stores. Hudson is known for its brand recognition and we have some of the most loyal shoppers in the industry, so we are confident that the program will draw strong membership enrollment.”

American shoppers who sign up will also be able to use their cards elsewhere in Dufry’s large airport estate: the scheme is operated in over 50 countries covering 239 locations.

As Hudson builds a shopping profile of its individual members it should be able to tailor specific offers to them. Martin-Consuegra said: “The scheme will give us even more opportunities to personalize the travel journey while digitalizing our communication and offers to travelers.”

Shoppers can join online or in-store. To celebrate the Hudson launch of the program, new members will receive a sign-up offer of up to 50% off a single purchase through a digital scratch-off. They also have a chance to win a seven-day Caribbean cruise.

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