Schäfer Airport Retail GmbH is to open three further stores in German Airports this year after securing the seven-year contract to operate three outlets under the ‘Move’ concept at Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS).
The DUS stores will be operated in partnership with German operator Kirschner Airport Shops, as is the case at CGN. Founded in 2003, The Schäfer Group expanded its line of business in 2018, to include airport retail, as first revealed by TRBusiness.
Currently operating ‘Move’ stores at Cologne and Stuttgart Airports, Schäfer Airport Retail GmbH, which will exhibit this year in Cannes (Mediterranean Village P12) will be in five of the top 10 German airports by the end of the year.
An extensive product selection includes well known electronics speaker brands, headsets, mobile communications and accessories. The product range features up to 1,100 items across 200sq m. Built-in showcases, such as a home theatre and gaming zone help attract customers.
NEW DUSSELDORF OPENINGS
In Düsseldorf, the flagship Gate A store and Gate B outlet will open by the end of 2019. A third Gate C shop will follow in spring 2021. Each store will offer 100% visibility for departing passengers.
The size of the flagship store enables the consortium to work on enticing customers into the shop and to give space to categories like smart speakers, gaming and home office.
John Woodhouse, Schäfer Airport Retail, Managing Partner told TRBusiness: “The Düsseldorf tender was hotly contested and we are thrilled that the commercial team in Düsseldorf Airport loved our concept, how we used the space and how we are bringing the segment to life.
“A great deal of energy went into the proposal and it was worth it! Prior to the tender, we listened carefully to the customer and airport needs, adapted our range and transformed our ‘Move’ retail concept.”
Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director of Schäfer Airport Retail GmbH added: “It was important for us to win this bid. This marks the next phase in the development of our store concept.
“We are introducing the combination of new shop design and latest marketing concepts at Düsseldorf Airport.”
Each new DUS store is unique and takes into account the passenger flow at that particular part of the airport, according to Woodhouse. “We have carefully category-managed the product mix in the first two stores that will open in Düsseldorf.
“One pier has more business passengers and the second pier is more leisure focused. Both have different product needs, so we can also plan to talk to the passenger via customised promotions and offer a varied range of products in-store.”
Gereon Kirschbaum, CEO, Kirschner Airport Shops, emphasises the importance of product variety and staff training. He said: “We want to offer the top tech brands at the best possible prices and to continually improve the variety and offers.
“To this end, we pay special attention to the training of our staff, because ultimately, customer service and extensive product expertise are crucial for success.”
Offering an airport perspective, Pia Klauck, Director of Commercial Operations at Düsseldorf Airport says the store’s sophisticated experience concept was a decisive factor when awarding the contract. She commented: “Retail is changing and needs new ideas and solutions to succeed. Experience is becoming a more important consideration for the customer all the time and boosts purchase decisions.
“The ‘Move’ Stores deliver an innovative concept and we were won over by the mix of consultancy, brand portfolio appeal, competitive pricing, the fusion of online and offline and especially the focus on customer experience and enjoyment.”
The cooperation with regional partners at Düsseldorf Airport was another decisive factor. “It gives us the advantage of short supply routes and swift adaptation of product ranges according to customer needs,” Klauck added.
POSITIVE STORE FEEDBACK
Meanwhile, the consortium has received positive feedback from customers and landlords following the opening of its stores in Stuttgart — where a second location will soon be announced — and Cologne Airports.
Woodhouse said: “Our same-store turnover growth is positive to see and hitting budget is very satisfying. Sales don’t grow by themselves, so the team is set up to adapt quickly.
“Technology demands change, so through spending time observing, listening and getting feedback, we’ve just completed a range review of Stuttgart.”
Over the coming weeks, changes will be made in Stuttgart, with the retail furniture enabling brands to be switched overnight.
Woodhouse, who describes Kirschbaum and Kirschner Airport shops as excellent partners is satisfied how Schäfer Airport Retail GmbH has evolved in just under 18 months.
“Progress to date is on track from a strategic and turnover perspective and development is only possible thanks to the long-term partnerships we are building with retailers, brands and landlords.
“We are adding both store management and back-office teams to prepare for the next stage of growth outside Germany. Alongside this, Joachim and I will look to boost our growth over the next 18 months with an acquisition, but only if the right opportunity presents itself.”
Woodhouse concluded: “Our pipeline is healthy in the retail and distribution segments of the business, where we are providing a full service to retailers right around the world.”