The absorption of Heinemann Scorpio International Holdings Limited into the Hamburg-based travel retailer’s inflight regime is ’75-80%’ complete, TRBusiness can report.
As reported, Gebr. Heinemann announced in March it was acquiring the remaining shareholding in Scorpio having held a 51% in the UK-based inflight specialist for 12 years.
In an exclusive interview with both sides in the flagship October issue of TRBusiness, available from the press racks at this week’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, Heinemann confirms it is now handling existing pre-listings together with new purchase orders as Scorpio’s business in the UK and Hong Kong shifts to Germany.
“All our customers and suppliers (the vast majority of customers and suppliers will continue, with the exception of two or three that Heinemann chose not to continue business with – Ed) have been informed about the move and everyone is very positive,” said former Scorpio Worldwide CEO Stuart McGuire, who has now taken on a consulting role for Gebr. Heinemann.
‘PRESERVING THE SCORPIO DNA’
John Baumgartner, Sales Director Inflight & Catering, Gebr. Heinemann added: “The transition for inbound orders is basically done.”
Handling purchasing, product development and client management on Heinemann’s side is Viola Denke, Head of Buying, Watches & Jewellery, Inflight & Licensed Brands.
She is being ably assisted by Scorpio’s Ella Marcham, who has relocated from the UK to Germany.
Meanwhile, Scorpio Operations Manager Neil Stevenson is currently on a ‘hybrid’ assignment splitting his time between both countries to assist with demand and supply, new and existing orders, inbound fulfilment, logistics and quality control functions.
Nathalie Benham is also supporting Baumgartner’s team, which includes Georgia Müller and Jakob Barte, in servicing new and existing airline customers.
Heinemann has taken on 25 new accounts as a result of the transaction, including the likes of 3Sixty Duty Free, and a substantial 70 airlines, bringing its total airline customer base (either direct or via concessionaires) to 150.
“The key DNA of Scorpio has always been built on customer service; we’ve brought innovative products to the market, extremely successfully, for a number of years and we’ve done it with a smile on our face and an enormous amount of goodwill from all our customers,” said McGuire candidly.
“Heinemann will have to put their own spin on things, but I’m sure they will carry that DNA of not only delivering products on time, but customer service that is second to none.”
For the full interview, see the October issue and watch out for extended coverage via TRBusiness.com.