Gebr. Heinemann and Cologne Bonn Airport celebrate 50-year milestone

By Charlotte Turner |

Gebr.-Heinemann-and-Cologne-Bonn-Airport-celebrate-half-a-century-of-cooperation-leadLeading global travel retailer, Gebr. Heinemann and Cologne Bonn Airport today (6 September) celebrate the 50th anniversary of their partnership, first formed in 1969, along with the opening of the retailer’s first airport store.


“It all began with a sort of small kiosk with a service counter,” says Heinemann of its first Duty Free Shop, which it opened 50 years ago at Cologne Bonn Airport. This formed a solid basis for a forward-looking partnership, says the company.


The Hamburg family business still is the retail concessionaire at Cologne Bonn Airport today, now with five shops, over 100 employees and a total sales area of around 1,800sq m.


As reported, Gebr. Heinemann recorded a resilient financial performance in 2018 with Group turnover up 11.4% to €4.6bn ($5.4bn) as the family-owned company passed the leadership baton to its fifth generation. (For a comprehensive report and analysis of Gebr. Heinemann business activities over the last 18 months, pick up a copy of the TRBusiness Top 10 International Operators report at the upcoming TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes this year).


Group-wide retail sales grew by an even more impressive 14.5% to total €3.6bn ($4.2bn) with wholesale activities up 0.2% to €900m.


“We are very proud of our longstanding and successful partnership with Cologne Bonn Airport,” says Claus Heinemann, co- owner of Gebr. Heinemann.



“The airport is the cradle of our business in the airport retail sector, because it was here that we dared to make the leap from being a pure wholesaler to operating shops ourselves, which was a new level of trade for us back in 1969.



Gebr. Heinemann opened its first Duty Free shop worldwide at Cologne Bonn Airport in 1969.

His cousin and co-owner Gunnar Heinemann adds: “It’s really wonderful to see how business here in Cologne has developed over the last five decades.


“All the innovations our company has realised in recent years have been successfully implemented here, whether in transitioning from the service counter to the walk-through self-service shop, or from the simple Duty Free logo to our own ‘Heinemann’ retail brand – both the airport and our employees here on site have offered us outstanding support along the way.”


Johan Vanneste, CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH, also offered his congratulations on the anniversary: “Heinemann is an integral part of our airport family. We share a very long and successful history.



Gebr. Heinemann and Cologne Bonn Airport celebrate half a century of cooperation: (f.l.t.r.) Torsten Schrank (CFO Cologne Bonn Airport), Gunnar Heinemann (Co-owner Gebr. Heinemann) and Johan Vanneste (CEO Cologne Bonn Airport).

“There have been shops here at Cologne Bonn Airport ever since Terminal 1 was built. Together we have succeeded in building up a trusting partnership over 50 years, one that provides the basis of our joint success.”


Heinemann invites Cologne Bonn Airport passengers – who also make a ‘daily contribution to the success of Heinemann Duty Free & Travel Value’ to join in the celebrations, by taking advantage of its numerous shopping campaigns and special offers.


“It’s only right they should be able to participate in the anniversary too,” says Heinemann.



Today’s Heinemann Duty Free & Travel Value walk-through shop in Terminal 1.

Using the motto ‘as attractive as on the first day’, Heinemann says it will ‘surprise its customers’ throughout September and October with special discounts and deals on traditional brands such as Toffifee, Gaffel Kölsch or the classic fragrance 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser.


Heinemann customers will also be offered a limited edition Ritter Sport confectionery item or a trendy LOQI bag when making purchases of over €50.


Travellers participating in the Heinemann & Me loyalty programme can celebrate the anniversary with a free Schlumberger piccolo.


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