September 20, 2017
WESSCO has a global presence today but that reach was not built overnight. Formed in the late 1970s, ‘WESSCO’ was the telex abbreviation for ‘West Side Supplies Company’ and was founded by Bob Bregman with just
Initially supplying hotels, the company’s first airline order came from Western Airlines in 1979 for 1,500 coffee pots but it moved into the amenities sector fast after Sharon DeHerder and Anita Gittelson (now retired) joined in 1987.
Petros Sakkis, vp of international operations, joined in 1999 and his vision has seen the business position itself as an industry leader. Innovation has been at the heart of its pioneering design concepts such as a Longchamp-inspired tote for Varig First; the introduction of children’s brands Barbie and Hot Wheels; and prestige brands such as L’Occitane which helped dramatically expand that brand’s footprint worldwide and saw it fly with Delta Airlines, Aeromexico and Varig.
Now the focus is on re-defined luxury, being authentic and offering a personalised approach with initiatives which have, for example, integrated American Airlines’ heritage with American icon, Eames, and American brand Dermalogica; connected Air Canada with Canadian aromatherapy brand Escents and linked Copa Airlines with Biomuseo, the first museum in Latin America designed by Frank Gehry. Bringing Ferragamo onboard China Eastern was an eye-catching collaboration, while currently social media is making a big noise about partner Cowshed and it’s ties with Soho House.
WESSCO has won awards for its buy-on-board collaborations too with an exclusive Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon for American Airlines; and a Café Kit for Air Canada which won a 2017 Onboard Hospitality Award.
It was one of the first companies to introduce branded bedding onboard by presenting luxury mattress brand Coco-Mat for Etihad’s First. And in coming months a new collaboration with a U.S. brand said to be revolutionising mattresses will also launch onboard through WESSCO.
The team has built a reputation as a trusted partner that delivers on-trend programmes that surprise and exceed passengers’ expectations.
Sakkis says: “Relationships built on trust and an understanding of aviation’s unique logistics are central to what we do, along with tailored programmes and product development which always looks ahead to tomorrow’s traveller. Well thought out brand collaborations are key. Branding is the name of the game now.“ •