May 4 2023  |  Retailers

​Gebr. Heinemann and Imperial Brands celebrate 100 years of partnership

By GTR Magazine Staff

At the celebration of the centennial anniversary of their partnership, on April 28, 2023

This year marks a significant milestone for Gebr. Heinemann and Imperial Brands, as they celebrate 100 years of collaboration and partnership.

According to the company, the partnership between Gebr. Heinemann and Imperial Brands Reemtsma (now part of Imperial Brands Group) began on April 28, 1923, when a first order of historic German tobacco brands, such as Gelbe Sorte and Rote Sorte, was confirmed between two Hamburg-based family-owned companies, at the time.

The two companies have since been long-term strategic partners in the industry, working closely on achieving key landmark succusses over the decades. This includes supplying the first German airport duty free shop, which opened in Frankfurt in 1958, and Gebr. Heinemann’s first duty free retail operation, which opened in Cologne Airport in 1970.

Both companies raised a glass to their centennial anniversary and the future of their partnership on April 28, 2023.

Imperial Brands’ President of Europe Region, Aleš Struminský said, “Today, we are delighted to commemorate a wonderful accomplishment of a relationship that started with two Hamburg-based merchants 100 years ago, and one which has flourished into a partnership between two key global players in the travel retail and duty free industry.

Gebr. Heinemann remains one of our most important partners in travel retail and duty free, and we are very proud to have kept our traditional values of trust, honesty and fairness at the heart of our working relationship over the last century. With this in mind, we have approached opportunities and challenges with a shared long-term vision, which makes this partnership both successful and incredibly special.”

Today, Imperial Brands’ products are sold in around 80% of Gebr. Heinemann’s global retail outlets across different channels and the partnership sees approximately 33 of Imperial’s brands featured in around 100 airports worldwide, through Gebr. Heinemann’s wholesale and retail operations. This is across key global regions and markets, such as Germany, Turkey, Australia and Norway, just to name a few.

Tobacco remains a key driver in the travel retail and duty free sector, and Imperial Brands’ strong cross-category portfolio allows the company to provide Gebr. Heinemann with the right offer to meet the different needs of consumers in locations around the world.

Max Heinemann, Co-CEO of Gebr. Heinemann, said, "As Gebr. Heinemann, we stand for reliable and long-term partnerships. Our 100-year cooperation with Imperial Brands is an exceptional example of this. Such partnership can only work if both sides share the same values and success is not only about achieving individual goals, but also about working to achieve common aims. Over the course of our collaboration, we have leveraged each other's expertise to create a resilient alliance that has stood the test of time. Looking to the future, I am confident that our partnership will continue to thrive and evolve."

As Gebr. Heinemann and Imperial Brands celebrate their successful partnership, they also look forward to the future as they both recognize the incredible developments still to come in the market, from the growing power of digital, to the shifting demands of a more sustainably minded consumer.

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