Start of a long journey

Our company’s story starts in Hamburg in the year 1879 when Carl Friedrich Eduard Heinemann suggested to Heinrich Christian Carl Heinemann, his elder brother, that they set up a company to supply tax and duty free commodities to ship chandlers. The business enterprise was duly registered on 1st November 1879. That was the start of along and successful journey ...

Our Corporate Philosophy: Foundation of success and guidance for the future

For Gebr. Heinemann – a globally active, family-run business – a distinctive culture of values forms the basis for effective working relationships rooted in trust. Gebr. Heinemann employs 6,000 people around the world; the corporate philosophy serves as a guide, and as the foundation of success for their shared efforts.

It not only lays out the principles of cooperation and work practices, it also defines the mission and vision of Gebr. Heinemann. In a constantly evolving market environment, Gebr. Heinemann aims to be the first choice on the travel retail market by virtue of the vitality and long-term outlook of an independent family-run company. The result is a clear framework of reference that enables us to create the conditions for preserving our identity, enacting our values and, above all, establishing long-term partnerships based on trust with our employees, customers, suppliers and other market players. In short, we deal with our market participants in the same way we treat each other. The trading firm therefore supports customer journeys with the best multi-channel offers. Service and the shopper experience are continually enhanced, driving customer-related developments with innovative services spanning all sales channels.  

Our Vision 

The Heinemann Family. First Choice in Travel Retail. Worldwide.

Our Mission

We live and breathe service, and we create value in an inspiring and emotional way.

Our principles

The first principle is We are one family. Gebr. Heinemann is a family-run company, and we want to bring that family feel into the workplace. We are guided by family
values, we support and respect one another and we enjoy working with each other.

We lead through trust is the second principle. This principle not only applies to the managers, but also to the way each individual works and their basic attitudes. We are reliable, open, honest and we take responsibility for our actions. Trust must always be based on give and take.

Our successful development as a company over the years is down to the fact that we have always stuck to our course persistently, even when times were tough. Our goals are clear, and we understand that when you stop trying to get better, you stop being good. With this in mind, guiding principle number three in our mission is: We persevere.

We delight our customers is the fourth principle. This applies to our clients in both the retail and distribution areas. The principle implies that we are consistently personally committed to meeting customer demands, delivering unrivalled service and establishing long-term relationships. 

To find the path, you must know the destination

Gebr. Heinemann has expanded to employ 6,000 people today. To stay on course and steer the company safely through even the turbulent times, the Board of Directors has formulated five goals. These fundamental coordinates are designed to define the orientation and aspirations of Gebr. Heinemann while giving all staff a sense of direction.

  1. We want to remain a financially independent, family-run business in the long term.
  2. For every fiscal year and business area, we set targets that will enable us to expand the company assets and finance growth.
  3. We focus on the main business areas of international travel retail markets while continually developing our integrated distribution/retail business model.
  4. To retain our status as a leading company over the long term, we want to expand faster than the international travel retail market, as organically as possible.
  5. We aim to control participating interests by applying our business model and earnings targets.

We do business responsibly

As a family-run company based in Hamburg, we uphold the old Hanseatic tradition of the ‘honorable merchant’ (which goes by the name of Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, today). Under this time-honoured code of conduct, long-term success in business is founded on such values as trust, integrity, reliability and steadfastness.

As a global organisation, today more than ever we regard it as our duty to accept responsibility for our company; to the best of our ability, we contribute to the community in line with our capabilities and financial means. After all, growth notwithstanding, it will be essential to sustain the qualities of a family firm in the future – and for us these include such Hanseatic virtues as the initiative to commit to society, a willingness provide appropriate support to those in need and a resolutely self-critical appreciation of what matters most.

We strike the right balance

In tandem with our business success, we realise the consequences of global business activity – so wherever we profit, we seek to give something back.

What benefits us should help others too.

In taking this approach we regard the economy, society and the environment as interconnected, and aim to strike a balance between those elements. That is why we are specifically cutting waste and energy consumption while utilising resources sparingly; it is also why we are socially committed to supporting those in need.

“For us, the ability to do business sustainably yet energetically stems from the same approach that has made us big – on a personal level, and as a company.”

Claus and Gunnar Heinemann

Society needs involvement

Aside from the donations we make, the voluntary participation of employees at various sites is central to our commitment to society. We encourage everyone to find out about projects to support and actively get involved. We are particularly concerned with young people and with relieving poverty. As a responsible member of society, Gebr. Heinemann is well aware of how many people – both children and adults – are dependent on help from others. Given our workforce and our financial possibilities, it is incumbent on us to support these people.