At Amsterdam Schiphol, Schiphol Airport Retail – a joint venture between Gebr Heinemann and the Royal Schiphol Group – has unveiled the new look of its Exquisite Shop.
The ambitious design upgrade for the 136sqm retail area is intended to boost the Exquisite Shop as a unique destination for the finest wine, spirits and cigars and take "the connoisseur’s travel and shopping experience at Schiphol Airport to the next level".
According to Heinemann, the new shop preserves a sense of the original classic design, but instead of an all-black wood interior and heavy leather armchairs, it now presents a more modern interpretation of the classicaesthetic.
A palette of neutral and earthen tones creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere, while copper and brass design elements build a contrast and set eye-catching accents.
It notes that with new furniture, to new signage and lighting and a revamped, more open configuration of the façade, the Exquisite Shop now boasts a much lighter urban design that it hopes will appeal to the younger target group.
“Especially the wine and spirits category is attracting more and more young customers, who are willing to invest in high-quality products," says Simon Asmus, managing director of Schiphol Airport Retail.
"Many of them are simply lovers of fine drinks and look for the unparalleled taste of a rare cognac, a fine champagne or a vintage whisky. But particularly at the high end, a growing number of young collectors is entering the market, chasing rarities and the latest limited editions that they can’t find anywhere else."
The redesign was accompanied by a renaming of the shop: the original name 'Exquisite' is now supplemented by 'Finest Wine, Spirits & Cigars'. This, says Heinemann, makes clear to travellers at first glance what an "extraordinary product range" they will find, even before entering the shop.
Besides its completely fresh design concept, the new Exquisite Shop offers a special attraction: the aroma table. It is made of marble and brass and features five trumpet-like devices that,with the squeeze of a rubber bulb, release the delicious aroma of a core taste of the wine or spirit it promotes.
Decorated glass jars stage the respective aroma and guide customers through the different flavours as theymove around the table, encouraging them to fully immerse their senses into the highlighted products before actually tasting them.
“The aroma table aims at changing customers’ perception of a product by highlighting their unique flavours rather than arranging them by specific category or brand. It allows us to engage in a completely different way with our customers and let them discover their preferences in a new, much more emotional way” explains Asmus.
"The highlighted products on the aroma table are exchanged every three months, giving a great deal of flexibility and enabling swift curation of new enhanced shopping experiences."
While Rüdiger Stelkens, purchasing director for liquor tobacco confectionery and fine food at Gebr Heinemann, notes: “The aroma table sets a new benchmark in travel retail when it comes to enticing the shopper in new and exciting ways.
"It also builds a perfect bridge from marketing to tasting – and tasting builds the bridge to buying. But even those travellers who don’t turn into buyers will still memorise the experience at the Exquisite Shop and be left with a new, more sensual impression of the promoted brands"
Around 70 million passengers use Amsterdam Airport Schiphol each year, making the international hub from and to the Netherlands a key market for Gebr Heinemann.
Meanwhile in Italy, subsidiary Travel Retail Italiana has officially opened a 200 square metre shop in the new and second terminal building (Terminal C) at Catania-Fontanarossa Airport in Sicily.
Opened on Friday, the outlet is Heinemann's fifth Duty Free & Travel Value Shop at the airport.
"Catania-Fontanarossa Airport is an extremely committed and professional partner with a very long-term focus," says Travel Retail Italiana's managing director, Karl Niendorf.
"For this reason, we are a great match for each other and have been working for five years now on continuously designing a tailor-made shopping experience for our passengers at Catania-Fontanarossa Airport. The new shop is a great confirmation of our long-term and trusted partnership."
The new addition will feature the entire duty free range of perfumes and cosmetics, confectionery and spirits, accessories and convenience offerings as well as the largest beauty area of all shops at Catania Airport.
In addition, there is a particular large selection of popular local brands. Around 70 square metres of retail space are dedicated exclusively to regional products.
Alongside souvenirs, typical Italian products ranging from accessories to specialties from the food and liquor categories are offered within the “Sicilian market concept” reflecting the local spirit of the airport.
Niendorf says: “Catania is one of our key Italian outlets. We see a big potential to further encourage growth, especially due to the added passenger capacity with Terminal C.
"Therefore, we are keen on further investing in increased commercial offers and shop concepts at this airport."