MITR and DFA create New York theme in new interactive M&Ms store at JFK


DFA and Mars International Travel Retail (MITR) officially opened a new M&Ms store at JFK’s Terminal 7 (British Airways) between Gates 7 and 8, on Feb. 5.

This colorful, interactive 30 sq m store replaces the previous M&Ms outlet, in place since 2011. The company says that the store “is a perfect example of how [Mars] is bringing its new “smiles” strategy to life.”

Mars launched its category vision around the power of a smile in Cannes last year based upon the insight that “a smiling traveler is a spending traveler.” With a full program of the right instore and airport experiences available, Mars believes it has the tools to help the industry to double the category by 2020.

Designed to bring a smile to the face of every traveler, the store features a local New York theme both in design and product offer. The back wall is divided into the five main M&Ms character colors: Orange, Blue, Green, Yellow and Red; each section with themed gifts, clothing, confectionery and plush. To create a Times Square effect and bring the store to life, TV screens at the top of the back wall show short videos focusing on the personality of each M&Ms character.

A central gondola features the Yellow Mars character, sporting a baseball cap, and Red, representing the Statue of Liberty. Both characters are seated on an M&Ms branded American flag, creating a perfect photo opportunity. Behind the sales counter, a visual of Orange, Blue and Miss Green against a New York skyline is another focal spot. The sales counter and central gondolas are all yellow.

On the left hand side of the store there is a “What’s Your Color” unit which enables shop floor staff to directly interact with customers, providing an additional sales opportunity.

While the core focus is M&Ms, there is a separated back wall unit featuring other successful MITR brands such as Snickers, Celebrations, Bounty, and more, including the most recent travel retail exclusive items.
“Like our Paris CDG shop, this new store is designed to offer fantastic theatre and fun. We have worked to create an innovative and interactive experience,” says Craig Sargeant, MITR General Manager. “We are extremely happy with the result, and the response from travelers in the first few days of opening has been most encouraging.”

DFA President, Leon Falic, adds: “We challenged Mars ITR to come up with a concept that would truly give a sense of place, while enticing travelers to enter our store and purchase these great products. We are delighted with the result – an engaging shopping experience that has immediately proven successful.”

The store opened on January 26 with a special appearance by Yellow, following two full days of training for DFA staff.

“The idea was to give the staff more background information on the M&Ms brand, how to create the best guest experience and to engage the staff with the M&Ms brand,” said Sargeant. “Having the right fixtures and fittings and product assortment is vital, but it is nothing without staff who are properly tuned-in with the brand.”

The JFK outlet is the 9th M&Ms store to open in travel retail, and demonstrates the importance MITR places on close retail partnerships.

“DFA has been a wonderful partner to work with in the conceptualization of this store; very open to our aim of engaging more strongly with existing customers and attracting new shoppers to the store. DFA was the first innovative retailer to partner with Mars back in 2011 and we are happy that, after three positive years, we now have a totally refurbished store. Based upon the latest shopper insights, it enables us to continue the successful journey, ” concludes Sargeant.

Craig Sergeant, GM International Travel Retail Mars; DFA President Leon Falic, and Alan Eley, VP- JFK T 7

Craig Sergeant, GM International Travel Retail Mars; DFA President Leon Falic, and Alan Eley, VP- JFK T 7