Profile of Sue Walker
Sue launched her hospitality career in the hotel industry before switching to aviation and retail, spending 20 years in management positions with Thomson (formerly Britannia Airways) rising to Head of Inflight Retail and Catering, where her combined expertise saw her implement a comprehensive range of retail and catering solutions that successfully delivered high levels of engagement and financial success.
Sue joined gategroup in 2007 shortly before Gate Total Solutions ( later GRO) took on the easyJet retail concession, initially leading the easyJet account team and latterly as MD New Business and Product Innovation with responsibilities for crew engagement, retail product procurement and brand development as well as customers in Asia, Australia and South America.
Industry Champion: As representative for inflight concessionaires for the UK Travel Retail Forum (UKTRF) I successfully negotiated a change in UK legislation, which allows for payment of excise duty on alcohol consumed onboard on UK domestic sectors, avoiding over payment of customs duty and thereby delivering improved profitability.
The inflight dream: One thing that would make life much easier from a retail point of view is low-cost connectivity on every aircraft. Yes, it would bring challenges but it would also solve a lot of problems around payments and open up new sales channels for us.
“I’d like to believe I’m an organised shopper but I’m easily distracted by a new food product or a pair of shoes.”