Tourvest’s revamped Two Oceans Aquarium shop raises the bar on retail story-telling

Tourvest Destination Retail, a member of integrated tourism group Tourvest, says its revamped gift shop at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town has raised the standard in retail story-telling.

“It’s new and refreshing,” says Allison Graham, chief executive.  “It takes its inspiration from the geometries and polished edges of a conch shell, adding some magic to the aquarium experience as opposed to simply being an afterthought,” she says.

Tourvest Destination Retail is a world respected destination retailer with 61 stores located at key tourism hubs in Southern Africa, from Cape Town to Victoria Falls.  It also owns a further 16 stores in the Caribbean as well as two Out-of-India outlets in the magnificent Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, India.  A new outlet, Encante Alicante has just been opened in Spain as the business continues to leverage its unique skills across the globe.  Its Out-of-Africa shop at OR Tambo International has twice been voted the best destination retail shop at any airport in the world by the prestigious Moodie Davitt Report.

Graham says the new design was prompted by a number of developments, including the aquarium’s own recent refurbishments and the successful renewal of Tourvest’s contract to operate the gift shop.

“Our commercial success has always been underpinned by our ability to capture the essence of a destination in a retail environment.  Our target market is driven by the travelling consumers and when they enter one of our shops, they must be immediately reminded of the place they are visiting.  In revamping the gift shop at the Two Ocean’s Aquarium, we wanted it to be a visual extension of the aquarium’s slogan – explore, experience, engage,” she says.

At the same time, Tourvest has stocked the store with fresh, new merchandise that reflects the aquarium experience with a wide range of clothing, souvenirs, locally sourced arts and crafts, jewellery, books and stationery.

It is also supporting the aquarium’s “Green Your Footprint” initiative, aimed at raising awareness of the danger plastic poses to marine life by including a number of reusable shoppers, bottles and mugs in its inventory.

“As with our other stores most of our product is sourced from local artists and crafters, which positively impacts on job-creation and poverty alleviation,” she says.   

“For more than a decade the Two Oceans Aquarium has enjoyed working with Tourist Destination Retail as our retail partners within the Aquarium.“  says Michael Farquhar, CEO Two Oceans Aquarium.  “They have always brought a vibrant mix of merchandise which has added positively to the Aquarium visitor experience.  They significantly upped their game when they transformed their old store into a modern ‘cutting edge’ retail concept which is extremely attractive and inviting.  The new shop has transformed the feel in the foyer of the Aquarium and I have no doubt that it will be a hit with our visitors.”