Markets, brands and marketing: our distribution operations.

As an international wholesaler, we provide a critical link between the consumer goods industry and the travel retail market. From a vast portfolio of high quality consumer goods, we directly supply tailor-made ranges to clients at airports, aboard aircraft and ships, and at border crossings.       

More than a thousand customers in 100-plus countries now depend on reliable, needs-based deliveries from our extensive range of products – and on the very special services that Gebr. Heinemann provides.

As we put together individual retail assortments, we place a particular emphasis on solutions that are tailored to a client’s market-specific and regional requirements – regardless of whether we are dealing with a shop on the Czech border, a boutique on a cruise liner, sales aboard an African airline or a shop at Munich Airport.

Extra service included

Although there are many distributors, more and more shop owners are opting to do business with Gebr. Heinemann for one reason in particular: no other company can offer such a depth of retail know-how alongside its deliveries of goods. Architects, marketing experts and product range managers guide clients all the way, from initial shop plans and store openings to support communications during actual business operations.

Some of our services at a glance:

Professional range management

Carefully balanced product ranges tailored to the needs of specific distribution channels, markets and consumers.

Marketing services

Promotion planning, merchandising, staff motivation and airport campaigns: in many cases, the marketing services we provide are the keys to success for our clients.

Shop layout and design

Since conditions differ from one airport to another, Gebr. Heinemann’s architects offer customers individual, site-specific solutions – drawing up floor plans, optimising the distribution of goods in store and advising on shop design.

Personalised customer support

All customers of Gebr. Heinemann can expect personal support.  Around 40 of our staff members can be contacted via multimedia platforms every day (hotline, email, Facebook and text messages). Their task is to assist with questions concerning goods availability and orders; in providing an interface between customers, Head Office, Logistics and external partners, they also coordinate the flow of goods.

Specific solutions for the global travel retail market

Gebr. Heinemann is one of the world’s foremost experts in distribution thanks to the scope of services it provides and, above all, the purposeful way those services are rendered. Teams of specialists well versed in specific market requirements are on hand to oversee all of our distribution channels – airport shops, in-flight sales, cruise liner outlets and border shops as well as special sales to diplomatic missions, military shops, the Vatican City and ship’s chandlers. Thanks to the expertise of these teams, the sales potential of our customers is sure to be exploited in full.

The value of this expertise to brand-name producers is also evident from the close working relations we maintain with our suppliers. In partnership, we are consistently developing new solutions to address many different aspects of the travel retail market; in this way, we can ensure we continue to meet all the needs of our diverse client base in the future.

Here is an overview of our main customer areas:

The engine of our distribution operations: Logistics Centres in Allermöhe and Erlensee

For Gebr. Heinemann, distribution poses a massive logistical challenge: nearly 50,000 articles must be permanently in stock and delivered to numerous international customers according to individual requirements, on a just-in-time basis every day. 

The fact that we can rely on a smooth flow of products on this scale is down to our Logistics Centres: our facilities in Hamburg-Allermöhe and Erlensee near Frankfurt are amongst the most modern on the global travel retail market.

Such efficiency also impacts positively on warehousing costs for our customers: since we can supply any required quantity of goods at any time – from minimal quantities to large containers – they don’t need to be concerned with storing goods themselves.

Welcome to the Duty Free family

Heinemann Duty Free doesn’t just trade in Duty Free goods: we do business with passion. This is no empty claim, as any customer who has visited any of our 100-plus airport shops in Europe will testify. Day after day, more than 6,000 staff members succeed in creating a unique and highly personal mood through their own dedication and empathy.

And that’s no accident – because we believe in the people who work for us more than all of our eye-catching store concepts, premium brands or shop designs. Whether shopping at the airport or online, those who visit Heinemann Duty Free can always expect much more than leading brands at low prices, thanks to our staff: they can look forward to the warm feeling that comes from being advised and served not just competently, but personally.

Unlimited service for travellers

The focus of our attention is constantly on the traveller: all our efforts and many of our exceptional services revolve around travellers. Whether a traveller prefers to shop online or at the airport, collect pre-packaged goods en route to their destination or take advantage of our convenient Home Delivery service (only available to passengers travelling within the EU, the delivery address must be in Germany), Heinemann Duty Free meets the personal wishes of each individual passenger – to the satisfaction of 40 million customers every year.

Now we have taken the next step: we have become the first company in the international travel retail sector to develop a highly individual customer motivation programme. Heinemann & Me promises not just in-store privileges for Heinemann Duty Free shoppers, but also personalised offers for members based around their home airports. Hundreds of thousands of air passengers are already taking advantage, with many confirmed as regular customers.

To inspire shoppers, you have to reinvent yourself

In this business, there is no time to rest on your laurels: an airport is one of the most dynamic market environments there is. To inspire customers at an airport, therefore, you have to keep on reinventing yourself.

Our goal is to remain an engine of innovation on the travel retail market while continually surprising travellers with outstanding offers and ideas. In the long term, we will establish the Heinemann Duty Free retail brand not just at airports, but also on cruise liners and ferries and many other points along the travel experience. 

Visit us and our brand Heinemann Duty Free on facebook as well!

Top architects give our Duty Free shops their identity

To a large extent, it is the interiors of the Heinemann Duty Free shops that give them a distinctive feel. One key feature of every site is the Regionals zone, which presents travellers with a particular region’s highlights, specialities and delicacies. To create these zones, we collaborate with world-renowned architects and designers in the various cities (or countries). It is their job to inject a typically local flavour into the overall design, thereby producing a special space in every store where shoppers will find classic items alongside more offbeat and unusual products selected from the regional market.

Thanks to Graft in Frankfurt, Coop Himmelb(l)au in Vienna, Snøhetta in Oslo, Hadi Teherani in Hamburg, Hope of Glory in Graz, Geon in Budapest and Lava in Sydney, all of our Regionals zones are unmistakably representative of their locations. Over time, therefore, Heinemann Duty Free has commissioned a whole series of outstanding designs and retail spaces based on concepts, forms, colour schemes and materials specific to particular airports. Each of our sites now has a clear identity of its own.

Concept shops: Fresh momentum for the travel retail market

Retail needs innovation to flourish. That’s why Gebr. Heinemann is continually developing eye-catching shop concepts based on the airport experience for travellers – including the typically Turkish ‘bazaar’ at Istanbul Airport.

Brand shops: Travel in good company

Gebr. Heinemann operates licence shops around the world in partnership with producers of premium international brands. With leading labels like Hermès and Boss, travellers are guaranteed an exclusive and high quality range to choose from. Not only are we giving Duty Free a face at airports, we are also bringing world-leading international brands to the fashion label boutiques we operate under licence.

Retail on the high seas

Our company has been running retail outlets aboard cruise ships for more than 10 years – and we continue to take advantage of today’s global cruise trend. At present, we operate 23 shops on ten cruise liners including Mein Schiff 1, Mein Schiff 2 and Mein Schiff 3 as well as on the MS Europa and MS Europa 2. The size and scale of our shops – in tandem with the ships themselves – has continued to increase over recent years.

Gebr. Heinemann has effectively applied its extensive retail and distribution experience, and its excellent logistics chain, to the cruise market. On the German market, we work with several shipping companies and tour operators on the basis of long-standing concession agreements.

To set ourselves apart from the competition and make a lasting impression on our contractual partners, we are investing in individualised shop concepts and made-to-measure maritime product assortments. Our Distribution and Retail divisions are active on ferries as well as cruise ships; we operate two 480m² Duty Free shops on two identical five-star ferries run by the Fjord Line company.

How we guarantee success

Success in business is invariably based on smooth working relations between all partners in the process. The performance of our Distribution division and our status as a leading European retailer are only made possible by an ultra-modern Logistics division and the expertise of our Purchasing staff.

Find out more about the two most important departments at Gebr. Heinemann.

In search of the ideal product range

For us, it’s not enough simply to control flows of goods: we want the goods we offer to inspire people. To achieve this, we need not only a deep knowledge of products and markets, but also a keen instinct for the specific needs of travellers – from holidaymakers to senior executives.

Gebr. Heinemann’s Purchasing department sets itself the task not only of identifying and meeting the wishes of these multi-faceted target groups wherever possible, but also of consistently exceeding those expectations.

Alongside the classic Travel Value and Duty Free assortments (perfumes, cosmetics, tobacco goods, spirits, wines, Champagne, confectionery, fashion and accessories), we promise customers the latest trends and exceptional articles at all times, whether these be regional specialities like cuckoo clocks, delicacies, genuine vintages or Japanese whisky. Heinemann’s Fashion & Accessories category presents a surprising and exciting selection: From classic Ray-Ban sunglasses to Boss shirts and fine leather handbags by Ferragamo and Burberry.

Flawless logistics for tomorrow’s markets

Gebr. Heinemann’s logistics centres are among the most modern on the global travel retail market - the flow of goods around the world is controlled by our two modern Logistics Centres in the Allermöhe district of Hamburg and Erlensee near Frankfurt. Even more impressive than the scale of the technology (which includes for example 40 metre high racks) is the day-to-day work of the Logistics departments: the perfectly orchestrated, simultaneous interplay of thousands of processes with the aim of determining the ideal route for every order.

Since a smooth flow of goods is fundamentally important to us as a trading business, we have been expanding our warehouse infrastructure within the last two years: the second Logistics Centre specially designed to supply the markets of southern Europe was built and opened in Erlensee (close to Frankfurt) in summer 2014.

Thanks to a wealth of experience, expertise and investment, Gebr. Heinemann has emerged over time as one of the most modern logisticians on the global travel retail market.

Certificates: ISO 9001 Quality management system for products and processes in a company, ISO 28000 Security management system for the supply chain, ISO 14001 Environmental management system and OHSAS 18001

for occupational health and safety.

Our nerve centre: the Logistics Centre at Allermöhe

Some 500 staff members based in Allermöhe control logistical processes at Gebr. Heinemann. The facility, which was constructed in 2003, is one of the most modern Logistics Centres in the world thanks to state-of-the-art IT, warehousing and handling technology. Through a highly complex series of interactions between persons, computers and machines, as many as 700,000 sales units are picked, handled and shipped to more than a thousand wholesale clients world-wide on a daily basis.

Facts about Gebr. Heinemann’s Logistics Centre in Hamburg-Allermöhe

  • Multi-channel logistics
  • Full range of over 49,000 permanently available articles
  • Handling area: 46,000m2
  • Storage spaces in (high) bay warehouse: 45,000
  • Storage spaces in split case picking system: 42,600
  • Storage spaces in box warehouse: 34,600
  • 29 gates (inbound/outbound)

The Erlensee Logistics Centre: our gateway to southern Europe

Owing to our company’s expansion, it has become necessary to construct a second Logistics Centre. Thanks to its location in the heart of Germany – just 35 kilometres from Frankfurt Airport in Erlensee – the facility promises ideal conditions for delivering goods to the global travel retail market. In the future, modern technology will be utilised to ensure many of our retail sites in Germany, along with distribution clients south of Hanover and in neighbouring southern European nations, are supplied from here.

Facts about Gebr. Heinemann’s Logistics Centre in Erlensee, near Frankfurt

  • Multi-channel logistics
  • Approximately 140 employees
  • Full range of over 40,000 permanently available articles
  • Handling area: 32,000m2
  • Pallet slots in high-bay warehouse: 22,900
  • Automatic small parts warehouse with 130,600 spaces
  • 28 gates (inbound/outbound)
  • Warehouse management system: SAP Extended Warehouse Management