May 11 2022  |  Retailers

Gebr Heinemann and Highsnobiety open first shop at Copenhagen Airport

By Hibah Noor

The GATEZERO shop at Copenhagen Airport offers a mix of global and local fashion brands, focusing on private label collaborations, accessories and limited footwear

Leading operator Gebr Heinemann and global media brand Highsnobiety have formed a 50/50 GATEZERO joint venture billed as “a new travel retail shopping experience” with a focus on top-tier airports worldwide.

What began as a pop-up store by Highsnobiety at Zurich Airport will now become a long-term partnership between Gebr Heinemann and Highsnobiety.

The co-operation between the retailer and the influential multi-media brand began 18 months ago, and at the beginning of 2021 the contract for the GATEZERO joint venture was concluded.

On 13 May, GATEZERO will open its first permanent shop at Copenhagen Airport on a five-year contract. The 32 square meter shop offers a mix of global and local fashion brands.

The focus is on private label collaborations, accessories and limited footwear. In addition, GATEZERO will introduce brands that are new to travel retail such as Comme des Garçons and Acne Studios.

GATEZERO worked with the renowned architectural firm Brinkworth on the store design.

Victor Chan, Co-Managing Director of GATEZERO, who moved to Berlin for the joint venture from Hong Kong, where he had been General Manager for Gebr Heinemann since 2018, said: “GATEZERO is a place where creative and cultural pioneers can intersect on their journeys. As a constantly changing and ever adapting hub for brands, product and storytelling, GATEZERO stores are, on their own, a travel destination.”

Targeting the new luxury consumer

The idea of a long-term co-operation between Highsnobiety and Gebr Heinemann was developed by Gebr Heinemann’s Vision Hub, GHARAGE.

Lennard Niemann, Managing Director of GHARAGE, explained: “New target groups are constantly evolving at airports, which are very interesting for us. In particular, the new luxury consumer, on whom Highsnobiety focuses, is gaining importance in many markets. To reach these target groups we needed more than one retail concept and we also have to find new ways to address the travelers and to communicate with the shoppers. This is why GHARAGE, together with Highsnobiety, co-created the concept of a permanent new luxury destination at airports.”

While Gebr Heinemann is responsible for operational excellence and retail innovations, Highsnobiety oversees the creative and brand input.

Max Berger, CCO of Highsnobiety, noted that the company had already gained experience via its Zurich Airport pop-up store.

“When we started working with Gebr Heinemann, we were already talking to Zurich Airport about possible marketing activities,” he said. “During the design process of GATEZERO, the pop-up store in Zurich became a first version of what will follow in our partnership. We are happy that we can draw many lessons for the further development of GATEZERO from this temporary shop.”

Worldwide airport rollout

GATEZERO is working on the presentation of the concept at other airports. In fall 2022, the concept will be rolled out at selected premium airports worldwide.

“The pop-up in Zurich already shows that this concept works, and it even attracts a bigger target group than we thought,” said Simon Weisskopf, Co-Managing Director of GATEZERO. “With our new offer, we will address the traveler throughout his entire journey – and part of this journey are also the social media channels, where our target group finds inspiration and exchange takes place.”


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