Gebr. Heinemann is to operate nine stores across 5,400sq m in the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) which finally opened on 31 October following a decade of setbacks.
EasyJet and Lufthansa landed the first flights at the airport prior to regular air traffic commencing in the evening. Terminal 1 provided a Halloween-inspired welcome to members of the public from 20:00.
Six stores have already began trading in T1 covering around 3,000sq m. These include a 1,660sq m walkthrough Heinemann Duty Free & Travel Value shop in the Schengen area.
The design of the stores is a particular highlight. Heinemann Duty Free is implementing its Local Sense concept with products and influences from the region. This is courtesy of Berlin architecture firm Graft.
According to Heinemann, the fashion, art and design metropolis served as inspiration. Furniture in the main store, for example, is reminiscent of the Berlin wall.
HEINEMANN ‘COUNTS ON’ NEW BERLIN AIRPORT
Popular products such as Berlin Gin ‘Brandstifter’ and Spreewald gherkins complete the sense of Berliner Luft (Berlin Air) at the airport.
Raoul Spanger, Chief Operating Officer, Gebr Heinemann said: “We are delighted to finally be able to get started. Heinemann Duty Free is counting on BER as an attractive capital city airport.
“Unfortunately, our joy about the opening is overshadowed by new drastic measures to slow down the spread of the corona virus.
“Following the decision by the federal and state Governments to impose new severe restrictions on public life and mobility, the opening unfortunately falls into a phase that resembles a second hard lockdown in Germany. However, we are convinced that many people will visit our capital by plane in future.”
In addition to three other duty free and travel value shops, two fashion & accessories/watches & jewellery multi-brand shops opened across 680sq m.
The stores present a mix of several multi-brand concepts (different brands under one roof) and personalised brand corners (separate areas where only a single brand is presented) that bring the design and atmosphere of international department stores to the airport.
Travellers can enjoy a Boss brand concept, selection of sunglasses and ready-to-wear collections from brands such as Armani Exchange, Hugo Boss, Polo Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein in the premium store area.
Brands such as MCM, Ferragamo, Longchamp, Swarovski and Montblanc are represented in the affordable luxury area.
Terminal 2, which is due to open in April 2021, will feature another 760sq m Heinemann Duty Free & Travel Value shop, which has already been developed.
Meanwhile, the former Schönefeld Airport, where Heinemann operated two walkthrough duty free and travel value shops has been renamed BER Terminal 5. Terminals 3 and 4 are yet to be constructed and could replace Terminal 5 in the future.
Steffen Jopp, Managing Director of Heinemann Duty Free, BER commented: “It’s great to finally be able to welcome all passengers to our high-quality stores at the new BER. But the joy of the opening is clouded by the measures taken to contain the corona pandemic.
“We are working in a very cooperative partnership with Berlin Brandenburg Airport to bundle our personnel resources. This means, for example, that the gate shops will be kept ready for operations, but sales will not start until the corresponding passenger volume is reached.
“Opening hours will also be adjusted accordingly. Currently the fashion stores are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The opening hours of the duty free stores will be adapted to the flight schedule.”
Spanger remarked: “We will probably have to continue short-time work until well into next year. We do not yet know how global mobility will develop, but we are sure that the travel retail market will remain an important part of travel in the future.”
EFFICIENT TEST STRATEGY
An efficient test strategy with clear guidelines is required to achieve this, according to Spanger. “This is unavoidable so that business and private travellers can once again act quickly and flexibly. It is also more sensible than a blanket quarantine obligation, which means trips are cancelled from the outset.”
In the meantime, Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, Chief Executive Officer of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport is promising ‘optimal’ trading conditions for partners despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the day of the opening he said: “For Berlin Brandenburg Airport and East Germany it’s a very important day. With Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt, eastern Germany can now rely on airport infrastructure that will serve as a solid basis for the coming decades.
“The people here in the German capital region had to wait a long time for this day. Our customers, that is the passengers and airlines, will find professional standards at BER: good accessibility by train and car, reliability and safety in handling even under coronavirus conditions and optimal service on the ground and in the air.”
He added: “I am very pleased that we were able to open the new airport with easyJet and Lufthansa. They are our most important partners even in these difficult times. Together, we shall overcome this crisis.
“We want to make a contribution with this new airport to help to boost the economy that suffered so much from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Aside Lufthansa and easyJet, mainly other airlines will use the airport’s three terminals.
Terminal’s 1 and 2 are located between two parallel runways, with Terminal 5 — the former Schönefeld Airport — in the northern area.
As anticipated, a partner day for shops and restaurants with tenancies at the airport’s more than 20,000sq m of commercial space is taking place today (2 November).