Heinemann makes bold return to Düsseldorf Airport after 10-year hiatus

By Faye Bartle |

Heinemann is back at Düsseldorf Airport

From left to right: Lars Redelig, CEO Düsseldorf Airport; Anja Dauser, Head of Commercial, Düsseldorf Airport; Gordana Schiel, MD, Heinemann Düsseldorf; Florian Seidel, CSO Gebr. Heinemann.

Gebr. Heinemann is celebrating what is has described as a ‘homecoming’, with the launch of four new shops at Düsseldorf Airport, following a decade-long break from operations at the hub.

As reported, the Hamburg-headquartered travel retailer Gebr. Heinemann won the rights in a competitive tender last year to operate four duty free and travel value shops at the airport.

The concession leases, effective 10 January 2023, cover stores in Terminals A, B and C across a total footprint of around 3,700 square metres, with the largest shop (1,300 sq m) located in the non-Schengen area at pier C.

The redesigned shops were officially unveiled today with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The retailer and the airport previously collaborated from 1992 to the end of 2012.

“We have a long and successful history with Düsseldorf Airport and are therefore truly delighted to be able to once again forge ahead with this partnership after 10 years,” said Florian Seidel, CSO at Gebr. Heinemann, at the opening.

Heinemann is back at Düsseldorf Airport

The pier B shopfront.

Seidel continued: “Together, we have succeeded in developing a concept that showcases the region and its local specialties in the best possible way.

“We are incredibly proud of the final result and are excited to finally present this concept to the travellers in Düsseldorf.”

Custom-designed shops 

The new retail offering has a strong regional focus, with sustainable furnishings and the flexibility to adapt them as needed. Heinemann’s operations at the airport are also being utilised to roll-out some of the retailer’s latest concepts, such as the ‘Test & Learn’ pilot project.

Spaces deliver a strong sense of place, with the shops inspired by the Rhine metropolis of Düsseldorf and its surrounding areas.

Each shop has its own distinctive design and offers a different product range, which has been adapted to suit the target groups of each shop location.

Heinemann is back at Düsseldorf Airport

A snapshot of Heinemann’s Future Friendly concept at Düsseldorf Airport.

“The new shops and their range of products are a testament to the strong connection to Düsseldorf and its surrounding areas,” explained Gordana Schiel, Managing Director Heinemann Düsseldorf.

“It is a joyful ‘homecoming in the true sense!’ We are particularly thrilled that almost two-thirds of our employees were previous ambassadors of the Heinemann brand and have now joined us again.

“Travellers can look forward to an unforgettable shopping experience with a spectacular assortment in four customised retail spaces.

“These shops are partly stocked with in-vogue brands that are available exclusively in travel retail in Düsseldorf.

“Another of our goals is to attract new target groups, such as millennials and Gen Z, with social-media-driven brands to change their perception of duty-free shopping as an outdated pastime.”

Heinemann is back at Düsseldorf Airport

Pier A Click & Collect.

The non-Schengen shop in pier C is modelled after the famous Düsseldorf boulevard Königsallee (nicknamed Kö), which is flanked by flagship stores and showrooms of global designer brands.

Similarly, at the Heinemann shop, consumer can discover a broad assortment of premium brands, such as Chanel, Dior and Lancôme – each of which enjoy their own personalised areas.

The shop on level 1 at pier B is centred around ‘urban chic’. It captures the young and vibrant image of Düsseldorf. This is reflected, for example, in the large and colourful graffiti artwork by the shop entrance.

The shop on level 2, evokes the old town of Düsseldorf on the banks of the river Rhine, with design features including walls with a brick finish.

Art is the inspiration behind the shop at pier A, with an installation of ribbons welcomes travellers at the entrance.

The strong connection to Düsseldorf is also reflected in the range of products on offer, with regional brands, such as Killepitsch, Rhein Gin, and Siegfried Gin, available to browse and buy under the ‘Local Heroes’ category.

Heinemann is back at Düsseldorf Airport

A glimpse of the Test & Learn project.

For the Test & Learn assortment, new brands (such as those only known so far on social media) will have the opportunity to present their products to travellers for a limited period of time, giving them an inroad into the travel retail market.

It’s sure to be a highlight for shoppers, providing them with a coveted chance to discover products from brands like Transparent Lab, Theramid and Acnemy, which are usually not found in travel retail, or are only available in a very limited number of online platforms.

Sustainable and modular furnishings

Sustainable furnishings are another key feature of the shops, with each item manufactured to have a long service life, consume few resources, and to help minimise the retailer’s carbon footprint.

In addition, the concept has a high degree of flexibility. It allows the shops to respond quickly and efficiently to customer needs by changing its ranges, promotions, tasting sessions and product staging swiftly and easily using the existing furnishings.

Heinemann is back at Düsseldorf Airport

A strong sense of place is brought to life with the help of the Local Heroes category concept.

“We are delighted to have found a partner like Heinemann, who, like us, puts passengers first,” said Lars Redeligx, CEO Düsseldorf Airport.

“We are united by our conviction of wanting to be more than just good; we want to offer every single customer an excellent experience.

“As an experienced and international player in the industry, Heinemann knows what is important and has positioned itself flexibly and sustainably in order to respond to current and future customer requirements and changes on an individual basis. The new shops at our airport are proof of how the future of travel retail is being successfully shaped.”

READ MORE: Heinemann ups business development drive with Nico Reifkogel appointment

READ MORE: Heinemann Australia brings Camilla luxury resort wear to Sydney Airport

READ MORE: Nc’nean Distillery joins Gebr. Heinemann’s Future Friendly collection

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