The ambitious conversions only took four months while business went on as usual; then the TAX FREE Heinemann Main Shop at Copenhagen Airport opened in all its new glory.

Starting with the floor and ceiling configuration through to the interior in its exciting design, the shop now presents itself to passengers in an inventive new look and feel with a significantly expanded range.

The modified Main Shop is one of six TAX FREE shops which Gebr. Heinemann Retail ApS operates at Copenhagen Airport. The conversion of the shop was carried out during the first half of 2018 in several stages while business continued as usual.

Local Sense: Hygge Copenhagen Experience
More than ever before, the focus is on the Local Sense concept. “Our experience tells us that travellers like to sense where they are. The passengers appreciate the Danish architecture and Nordic atmosphere. The city of Copenhagen is also one of the most important centres of design, fashion and beauty trends and therefore a perfect source of inspiration for us. This is why we specially opted for a Copenhagen-styled shop concept inspired by an even greater local sense,” says Raoul Spanger, Executive Director for Retail and HR at Gebr. Heinemann.

The renowned Danish designer Johannes Torpe has consulted Gebr. Heinemann in developing a concept for the TAX FREE shop which reflects three important features of Copenhagen: Its close relationship to nature is staged using numerous plants, as well as design elements which are inspired by light and water. The re-think concept is picked up in the reuse of design elements from the old shop. And finally, the joyful feeling which presents itself as colourful, modern and exciting. It creates an inspirational ambience for the travellers which transports them into the “hygge” mood of the city. The Scandinavian word stands for an attitude towards life that provides comfort and activates endorphins. Together with some Copenhagen specials such as the omnipresent cargo bikes used by local families and the bright colours of Nyhavn, the result is an exciting shopping experience with a clear sense of place.

A very promising “shop of the future”
Creating something fundamentally new requires careful planning and a sophisticated imagination. Before embarking on the conversion, there were intensive workshops with the airport as well as customer surveys to find out how the shopfitting could be optimised and the potential maximised. In addition to even more prominent shelf space for travel exclusives, the TAX FREE shop is now also wowing its customers with new surfaces. The innovative category labelling with free-hanging lettering in the Liquor Tobacco Confectionery (LTC) area and numerous decoration columns as anchor points provide the customers with even better orientation. Together with the more modern look and feel of the shop, additional digital offers set new accents. They want to reach out to the growing target group of under-30s. “Together with the airport, we have implemented the shop of the future in Copenhagen,” says Raoul Spanger.

A #looklab for the new target group
A highlight of the converted space is the “#looklab”. This is a separate, centrally located area in the shop which innovatively and creatively presents the growth category of make-up. The concept is tailored to the “millennials” target group, younger travellers who already account for around 30 percent of the passengers in Copenhagen. With trendy brands, flanked by personal services and offers – such as interactive screens, make-up tutorials, a selfie photo booth and charging stations for mobile devices – the #looklab gives passengers exciting things to discover.

Expanded space – greater range
In addition to the younger target group, as before, all age and customer groups get their money’s worth, from business travellers to those in search of a bargain in the TAX FREE shop. The Main Shop has been expanded by a total of 200 square metres. This has enabled the range to be greatly expanded. The new exclusive brands in the P&C area include Byredo, Atelier Cologne and Acqua di Parma. The Jo Malone brand has been permanently added to the range after its successful trial period on the “Brand Box” promotion space. The TAX FREE shop now offers even more niche, harder-to-find brands. This absolutely corresponds to the wish of customers for exclusivity and customisation. A clear indicator for this trend is also the growing range of pharmacy brands and the increasing demand for natural cosmetics. Furthermore, new brands are being offered in the tobacco area, such as e-cigarettes by iqos. Gebr. Heinemann is for the first time also currently testing the new category of “healthy snacks” in the TAX FREE shop and is likewise satisfying important customer requirements.

Inspiring theme-related merchandising with a cross-category concept
Another new feature is the cross-category concept, implemented in all areas. This presents e.g. the popular men’s perfumes together with the latest whisky. Or the shop decorators arrange exquisite wines alongside the perfect gourmet foods to match. This allows special theme-related merchandising to be staged which provides plenty of inspiration for buying smaller gifts and larger presents, thus securing a valuable added business.

New contract period with CPH
The new concession contract between Gebr. Heinemann and Copenhagen Airport has been running since 1 March this year. Even before the original contract period expired, the document was signed in April 2017 for a further five-year cooperation. Since Gebr. Heinemann has been operating the TAX FREE shops in the Danish capital, this is already the second contract extension and therefore an expression of mutual trust.

Outlook: potential for a record summer
Copenhagen is an important market for Gebr. Heinemann. An average of 80,000 passengers pass through the airport every day. In 2016, the largest hub in Scandinavia received around 29 million passengers. The airport is currently investing heavily in further expansion so that it can accommodate around 40 million passengers per year in the near future. New flights to and from Asia, including Cathay Pacific and Air China, are increasingly bringing important target groups to Copenhagen.
“Now that we have successfully completed the conversion phase, all signs are pointing to increasing growth with great potential for a record summer in 2018,” says Raoul Spanger.