Our management

Gebr. Heinemann is overseen by the company owners Claus Heinemann and Gunnar Heinemann, who represent the fourth generation of the Heinemann family. Management is in the hands of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Max Heinemann, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Raoul Spanger, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Kay Spanger and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Stephan Ernst.

The family business is managed by cousins Claus and Gunnar Heinemann since 1978

Born in Hamburg in 1950, Claus Heinemann completed an apprenticeship in a bank following his graduation from secondary school. Subsequently, he went on to earn a degree in economics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. Over the next 18 months he gained vocational experience with tobacco and spirits companies in Neuchatel and London. As the son of Helmut Heinemann, he joined the family company in 1979 as a general partner and member of the Board of Directors. Claus Heinemann lives in central Hamburg with his wife and daughter. He is a devotee of classical music and spends his free time sailing, skiing and playing tennis.

Gunnar Heinemann was born in Hamburg in 1951. After sitting his school-leaving exams and completing his military service, he read for a degree in business economics at the University of Zurich, graduating in 1977. After spells in Paris and London, the son of Horst Heinemann joined the family firm late in 1978 as a general partner and member of the Board of Directors. Gunnar Heinemann is married with two grown-up sons. He loves almost all types of music, from pop to classical, and is also (in his own estimation) a keen and reasonably talented golfer.

Max Heinemann is CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and Speaker of the Management Board of Gebr. Heinemann. He is responsible for Global HR, Corporate Development & Strategy and Corporate Affairs. Gunnar Heinemann's son was born in Hamburg in 1982, grew up in the Hanseatic city and graduated from high school in 2003. Parallel to his studies in International Business Administration at La Salle University in Barcelona, he worked in Project Management at the family-owned company from 2006 to 2009. After completing his studies, Max Heinemann developed the market entry strategy of Heinemann Duty Free at the Hamburg headquarters in 2009 before moving to the newly founded subsidiary Heinemann Asia Pacific in Singapore in 2010. There he initially worked on its establishment and establishment in the market in various positions such as Chief Procurement Officer (APAC) and Chief Operating Officer. From 2014 he headed Heinemann Asia Pacific as Chief Executive Officer, before being appointed to the management of Gebr. Heinemann in Hamburg, where he became CEO in September 2018. Max Heinemann is married and has three children.

Born in Hamburg in 1966, CFO Stephan Ernst is the man at Gebr. Heinemann responsible for Finance and IT. After completing his school-leaving exams, he read for a degree in business economics (focusing on banking and financing) at the University of St. Gallen, graduating in 1993. He started his career in 1994 with the Otto Group, where he performed a range of roles until 2001 (including four years in international investment controlling and three years in a commercial coordination role involving five of the company’s joint ventures in Asia). Stephan Ernst joined Gebr. Heinemann as Head of Controlling in 2001 and went on to head the Finance division in 2007. As a member of the Board of Directors, he has been responsible for the Finance and Controlling divisions since 2010 and the IT department since 2012. He is also the Managing Director of several holding companies and performs a number of Supervisory and Management Board roles. Stephan Ernst is married and the father of three children.

Born in 1958 in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Kay Spanger was raised in Bremen and Hamburg. He launched his career with Gebr. Heinemann as a trainee back in 1979. Kay Spanger was appointed as Managing Director of the Purchasing and Logistics divisions in 1997. In progressing to his current position as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), he has experienced all of the roles and divisions that make up the company, including sales and distribution as well as retail. He is therefore one of the few people to have witnessed changes and developments in the sector as they happened. Kay Spanger met his wife at Gebr. Heinemann; the couple has two daughters. He also enjoys spending free time with his two dogs.

Chief Operating Officer Raoul Spanger was born in 1961 and grew up in Bremen and Hamburg. After completing his secondary education in 1980, he undertook basic military service before training as a wholesale and export clerk. From 1986 onwards he performed managerial sales and purchasing roles for the Peek & Cloppenburg Group before moving to Gebr. Heinemann in Hamburg in 1989 as a Purchasing Manager for the accessories, luxury goods and gift item product groups. Having joined the Board of Directors in 1997, Raoul Spanger is responsible for the Group’s sales activities. The ardent supporter of the HSV football team lives in Hamburg with his wife and has five children.

Expansion since 1879

Among the global players of the Duty Free sector, Gebr. Heinemann is the only family-run business. We now have more than 8,000 employees whose welfare is the personal concern of the company’s owners. Our headquarters are situated in the HafenCity area of Hamburg. In 2018 the company achieved a controlled group turnover of 4.6 billion euros.

Here you can download our annual report and obtain an overview of our business areas.

Retail at a glance

In the retail sector, Gebr. Heinemann operates more than 340 Heinemann Duty Free & Travel Value shops, fashion label boutiques under licence and concept shops at 74 airports in 28 countries. The company also runs shops at border crossings along with over 40 shops aboard 20 cruise liners and two ferries. In 2018, we served more than 40 million customers across total sales space of approx. 160,000 square metres.

Distribution at a glance

More than a thousand retail customers in 100-plus countries take advantage of our distribution and advisory expertise when compiling ranges of branded goods tailored to the needs of specific markets and regions. We supply airports, airlines, ferries, cruise liners, border shops, downtown shops, duty-free zones, the military, ship’s chandlers, diplomatic missions and crew shops. 

Logistics at a glance

In our logistics centres nearly 50,000 articles are permanently in stock and are delivered to numerous international customers according to individual requirements, on a just-in-time basis every day. 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: we can supply any required quantity of goods at any time – from minimal quantities to large containers.

Our product portfolio

Gebr. Heinemann’s product range comprises more than 1,500 international brands directly sourced from a thousand suppliers around the world. In spite of the large number, every single article is highly important to our business. Moreover, every product that we add to the range must meet one criterion above all else: it must have sufficient appeal that our retail consumers and distribution clients will repeatedly return to us as partners. Ultimately, we believe only brands that our customers appreciate are likely to sell well.  

Our product categories:

  • Perfumes and cosmetics
  • Fashion and accessories
  • Watches and jewellery
  • Wines, spirits and Champagne
  • Confectionery and delicacies
  • Toys and souvenirs
  • Tobacco goods

Partnership beyond boundaries

For Gebr. Heinemann, Hamburg has always been the oft-cited gateway to the world. Today we maintain trade relations in many different countries across five continents, from the world largest arrival duty free airport shop in Oslo to Joint Ventures in Russia or Frankfurt, from the border shop in the Czech Republic to Heinemann Americas, our American branch in Miami.

To facilitate further healthy growth while breaking into new markets, Gebr. Heinemann will continue to conclude exclusive partnerships for the long term that are of benefit to both parties.

In the process we will combine our decades of experience in the travel retail market with established partners’ understanding of regional markets. At present Gebr. Heinemann works with 89 subsidiaries and holding companies in 39 countries at home and abroad. This is the basis on which we jointly develop effective solutions for distribution and retail.

Heinemann Asia Pacific: Applying hanseatic know-how to Asian markets

The particular expertise of Gebr. Heinemann on the global travel retail market has produced quite a number of success on emerging Asian markets too.

From its base in Singapore, our subsidiary Heinemann Asia Pacific maintains business relations in 10 different nations, having established an extensive network spanning from Indonesia to Myanmar. More than 60 staff members at the Head Office collaborate with strong local partners in the distribution and retail fields, capitalising on significant growth on what is currently the world’s most dynamic travel retail market.

Alongside our know-how and wealth of experience, clients in Asia value something regarded by our business partners in other parts of the world as a standard Gebr. Heinemann package: namely, no other distributor offers such a wide service portfolio in addition to goods deliveries. On request, 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.

Heinemann Americas – Our gateway to the American continent

Business is best acquired locally. Such was the principle we applied when we realigned the company to face Asia and established our subsidiary Heinemann Asia Pacific – and it holds true today for Heinemann Americas.

The international cruise market is dominated by American shipping companies, so in order to expand our cruise liner business it was essential to set up an office of our own in the USA. In November 2013, Gebr. Heinemann consequently opened the subsidiary Heinemann Americas, Inc. in Miami. From this base, the company acts as a retail and distribution partner to organisations such as MSC Cruises, supplying its fleet in Miami, the Caribbean and South America. The continually growing team also supports cruise sector clients in matters of shop design, trade marketing and product selection. Establishing Heinemann Americas was a strategic milestone in terms of our profile in the USA – a profile we intend to raise in the years ahead.

At home in airports

Heinemann is represented at 74 international airports in 28 countries through more than 340 Duty Free & Travel Value shops, , fashion label boutiques under license and concept shops .

Distributor in many locations

On the international travel retail market, we supply around thousand wholesale clients in more than 100 countries.*

(* marked in light blue / hellblau markiert)