Dufry Loses Retail Toehold In Germany As Heinemann Returns To Nation’s Fourth Busiest Airport

Hamburg-based journey retailer Gebr. Heinemann was rejoicing this week because it ousted Dufry by successful the tender to run the core retail enterprise at Düsseldorf Airport, Germany’s fourth busiest air gateway after Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin.

Heinemann—with income of $2.2 billion (€2.1 billion) in 2021—will run a brand new ten-year concession to function 4 duty-free and journey retail shops throughout all three terminals (A, B, C) from January 10, subsequent yr. The 43,000 sq. ft of area is at the moment operated by World Obligation Free, a Dufry firm, and shall be stocked with acquainted merchandise ranging throughout liquor, tobacco, confectionery, magnificence, style, equipment, watches and jewellery.

The victory is good. World Obligation Free, acquired by Dufry in 2015, took the Düsseldorf concession away from Heinemann in January 2013 after 20 years on the airport. Getting it again was all the time going to be an goal for family-owned Heinemann which is, by far, the dominant participant within the German journey retail market. Since 2013, Dufry has not made additional headway in Germany and shall be absent from subsequent January.

“We’re trying ahead to renewing our partnership with Düsseldorf Airport and resuming retail operations there,” mentioned Raoul Spanger, Heinemann’s chief working officer in an announcement. “I’m sure this partnership shall be very profitable when it comes to distinctive, future-oriented buying ideas.”

Skilled and likable”

In a revealing assertion from the airport operator, Flughafen Düsseldorf, head of business Anja Dauser, mentioned: “With Gebr. Heinemann, we’re getting a associate that’s as skilled as it’s likable, with a improbable idea. We’re trying ahead to a constructive and cooperative partnership.”

The connection with World Obligation Free had been prickly at occasions. At one level, simply earlier than it was purchased by the world’s largest airport retailer, WDF described the Düsseldorf contract as “onerous” with the gross sales evolution on the location “considerably decrease than expectations.”

Heinemann is taking a look at a really totally different image. The corporate informed Forbes.com: “Gebr. Heinemann participated within the tender as a result of we’re satisfied that we are able to function the positioning profitably. Along with the airport, we’ve developed a superb retail idea, laying the inspiration for a mutually worthwhile enterprise.”

The collaboration between Heinemann and Düsseldorf Airport started in 1992 and now that the retailer is again after an absence of virtually ten years, it feels it has sufficient brilliant concepts to make the return successful. In line with Heinemann, two causes it gained the tender had been its sustainability credentials and a neighborhood method—and each will play their respective roles going ahead.

Native themes win the day

The shop design—which retains the Düsseldorf Obligation Free identify that WDF had launched—displays native themes; sustainable use of supplies; and adaptability. Every store provides a variety of regional merchandise and has representations of Düsseldorf from artwork and youth/city tradition to the historical past of the outdated city and the town’s standing as Germany’s style capital. On this manner, each store has a person really feel with selfie factors based mostly on native landmarks.

“We’re notably happy that Heinemann has picked up on this idea in its product vary and store design. Passengers can refill on the environment of the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia and carry it into the world. That is how the native connects with the worldwide,” mentioned Pia Klauck, head of business operations at Flughafen Düsseldorf.

In the meantime, a extra modular furnishing scheme provides flexibility relating to adjustments and changes. Model promotions and seasonal campaigns may be put in place with out the necessity for classy modifications. This additionally means much less waste and diminished supplies requirement for store fittings.

Heinemann, having streamlined its operations, is effectively positioned so as to add the Düsseldorf enterprise into its German operations which accounted for about 12% of its annual income in 2019. Additionally it is going to learn from passenger development post-pandemic. Düsseldorf airport processed slightly below eight million passengers final yr, up 21% year-on-year however will probably be desirous to get again to its pre-Covid 2019 site visitors of 25.5 million passengers when it was Germany third busiest airport forward of Berlin.