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    Retail Opportunities to Meet Changing Needs of Travelers

    New restrictions on carry-on items may open door to surge in sales of trial-sized products.

    It appears that many companies are racing to be the first to meet the changing needs of airline travelers since new carry-on restrictions were put in place on August 15. A recent cover story in USA Today listed several hotel chains that are increasing their supply of toiletries in reaction to the new rules from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

    And, travelers stripped of carryon toiletries because of heightened airport security will find a consolation gift when they pick up Avis Rent A Car vehicles in the nation's major airports, reported The New York Times.

    Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble has donated ''smile packs'' with its Crest toothpaste, mouthwash and floss that Avis will leave on the front seats of cars at 25 U.S. airports starting Wednesday, Avis spokeswoman Susan McGowan told the paper.

    While the hotels' and rental agencies' actions may pull some sales away from retailers, there may be opportunity for stores to increase their sales of travel-sized health & beauty care and related items. According to the new TSA rules, no liquids or gels of any kind will be permitted in carry-on luggage. Those items will only be allowed if they are in checked baggage. Included on the list are all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, hair gel and other items of similar consistency. Gel shoe inserts are also among the prohibited items.

    As part of an advisory to clients, ACNielsen pointed out that retail stores near hotels and airports may consider expanding their trial-size offerings. In addition, a stand-alone travel section could include souvenirs, magazines, bottled water and shoe inserts. For the next few weeks, it would be smart for retailers to include signage outside their stores to remind travelers to purchase these travel-related products.

    The list of banned substances may change over time. To see the current list of banned items, click here.

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