Gebr. Heinemann is a global player in the travel retail industry. It has presence in 67 international airports in 28 countries around the world as well as wholesale clients in more than 100 countries, offering a large range of product categories including perfume, cosmetics, liquor, wine, tobacco, confectionery, and delicacies.

The business was established in 1879 by brothers Carl and Heinrich Heinemann, who decided to set up a company which would supply tax- and duty-free commodities to ship chandlers. It has since developed over four generations to become a highly respected name in its field. Despite significant growth over its long existence, it hasn’t lost its family ideals, and prides itself on staying true to its original roots, while also recognising the need to grow and enter new markets.

Gebr. Heinemann is based in HafenCity, Hamburg—a location it considers to be the gateway to the world. It has more than 5,600 employees worldwide whose welfare is a priority for the company’s owners. To stay on course and steer everyone in the right direction, owners Claus and Gunnar Heinemann and the board of four directors have formulated several goals. Gebr. Heinemann aims to remain a financially independent and family-run business for the long term and sets achievable targets each fiscal year to enable the expansion and growth of its assets.

The CEO Magazine spoke to two of Gebr. Heinemann’s managing directors to discover what factors have contributed to the past and current success of the travel retail business, and what factors will drive its future success. Raoul Spanger is in charge of retail and human resources while Kay Spanger is responsible for purchasing and logistics.