sly : marketing

Airport Shops and Local Currency

At the moment, I am at the airport in Riga (Latvia) waiting for a plane to take me back to Norway. As soon as I arrived at the bench were I am currently sitting, I was thinking about the money I just spent. It wasn’t a lot, it was in fact probably not more than $5 and I spent them on something to drink, two chocolate bars and some candy for my kids.

Owning a store at an airport like this one in Latvia should be great, because when tourists like myself leave, they just have to spend all their money on something (more or less useful). In Latvia, they use a currency called Latis, and you can only use it while in Latvia (I think). When I leave, the money becomes worthless to me. I can’t spend the $5 on anything outside Latvia, therefore, I had to find something to buy or give it to charity (but not this time). Of course, I could save the money for my next travel to Latvia, but I guess it will be a while before I return.

It’s interesting to watch all the tourists while they are figuring out what to buy and how to spend their money before leaving. Some buy extra coffee, even though one should have been more than enough. Some buy extra beer, and some buy candy like me.

I am thinking that owning a store at this airport can’t have much to do with creativity, because it seems that all the tourists here have money they have to spend before they leave. I guess that this is just like tourists feel while leaving Norway – how do I get rid of the extra cash before I get back home?

Would you rather own a store where you know that people will buy just because they have to spend money (because the money is worthless everywhere else) or would you want to be competing with all the other stores and create your own Purple Cow in order to survive?

I believe that it would be more fun and interesting to have to be creative for your business to stay alive. But of course, owning a business that literally runs itself would ok as well (LOL).

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