Schäfer Airport Retail to open new CGN store

By Andrew Pentol |

John-Woodhouse

Schäfer Airport Retail Managing Partner John Woodhouse.

Schäfer Airport Retail is to expand its German airport presence with the opening of a new 90sq m store at Cologne International Airport on Friday (22 March).

Having opened its inaugural airport store under the Move branding at Stuttgart International Airport last September, the Cologne Airport outlet will be bigger with a wider brand assortment.

This will include labels such as JBL, Sony, Bang and Olufsen, Ultimate Ears, Logitech, SBS, Skross, Thule and Wenger.

Cologne will be the third German airport to feature a store with the Move branding after Stuttgart and Nuremberg. The Nuremberg airside store opened in December 2018.

Schäfer Airport Retail will also open a second 100sq m landside store at Stuttgart Airport Terminal 3 in late April.

TWO CATEGORIES

All stores are split into two categories, sound and lifestyle with gondola spaces dedicated to children’s and emerging technology. Every ‘big brand’ has its own demonstration unit so consumers can try products before purchasing.

The company says that 25% of gondola space is unassigned to permit a monthly calendar of in-store promotions.

Established last June, Schäfer Airport Retail is a partnership between experienced travel retail executive John Woodhouse and the highly respected Joachim Schäfer.

Woodhouse told TRBusiness: “Sales in Nuremberg and Stuttgart have performed well, with spend per passenger quickly hitting plan. This has given us the confidence to open a second store in Stuttgart and to expand into Cologne, our third German airport.

“We will be announcing a fourth German airport very shortly, with two more in the immediate pipeline.”

Bang-and-Olufsen

Bang and Olufsen will be among the brands represented in the new Schäfer Airport Retail Cologne Airport store.

Expanding outside Germany is also on the agenda, according to Woodhouse. “Our strategy was two-fold. We wanted to start in Germany with our Move concept and as the concept matures, target overseas expansion.”

He added: “We are now looking to push the concept outside Germany and are in detailed conversations with retailers in EMEA about the Move concept.”

As reported, the business comprises two main elements. First is the trading part under the aforementioned Move concept, where the company is actively involved with retailers in building electronics outlets. Second, is the distribution of electronic products to retailers requiring a full range of brands in their current stores.

Regarding the distribution element, Woodhouse remarked: “We are providing a full-service distribution concept which includes planograms, training, furniture and demonstration units.

JBL-Schaefer“This part of the business is performing very well and the brands are pleased with the growth of the category which registered no sales previously. We are seeing travel retailers dipping their toe into the segment for the first time and very quickly growing the category as they are very pleased with the results.”

QUICK DECISIONS

The agility of the German-based company enables it to make quick decisions and concept iterations when needed.

Woodhouse explained: “The flat structure of the organisation and how we work enables us to be nimble. As with every concept in every store, nothing is perfect on day one. We take the approach of what needs to be changed is changed and what can be improved is improved.

“Our store design and furniture concept allows us to adapt quickly. To drive sales, we have already broadened our range segmentation, improved the furniture and tweaked our promotional messaging.”

Outlining the company’s aims and objectives for the first and second year of operations, Woodhouse commented: “The target for the first calendar year was to break even and we have exceeded that. The aim for the second year is sustainable growth and we are working nicely towards this.”

The DF&TR electronics category is dynamic and fast moving, according to Woodhouse, who cites decreasing sales of digital cameras as a major shift.

“Globally, sales of digital cameras fell -24% last year and will fall over 50% in the next two years.  The era of the compact camera is over and action cameras no longer attract a premium price and only sell when heavily promoted.”

He added: “As one category fades, another grows. Investment by brands such as Sony, Bang and Olufsen and JBL into smart speakers, viewers and headphones will facilitate significant growth over the next five years.

“The roll-out of 5G mobile technology from 2020 onwards will revolutionise the mobile phone and smart device alongside transforming the ability to work remotely.”

STYLE MAKEOVERS

We are also seeing the intersection of fashion and technology. Items such as power-banks, which previously served as utility products are now being handed style makeovers.

“Brands such as Fresh ’n Rebel have led the way in making the category more accessible to a wider audience”, Woodhouse commented.

In related news, Schäfer Airport Retail has appointed Patrick von Rosen as new Sales Director.

Patrick Von Rosen

Patrick von Rosen has been appointed new Schäfer Airport Retail Sales Director.

Von Rosen, who comes from an electronics background has managed Leica camera stores in Scandinavia and CIS. He will be responsible for the retail and distribution business.

Schäfer Airport Retail has also grown the wider team, increasing logistics, store management and design capabilities.

 

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