Global travel retailer Gebr. Heinemann has unveiled an impressive high-end shopping space at Sydney Airport, Australia’s busiest air gateway where travelers can now access a slew of exclusive beauty brands.
The official launch took place on February 16, 2023, when local entity, Heinemann Australia, unveiled a large assortment of beauty, fashion, and accessories “completely rethinking” its store design and bumping up its fragrance, skincare, and makeup offers.
Among the beauty newcomers to the airport—where Heinemann has been operating since 2015—are collections from Hermès Beauty, Chanel Espace Parfum, Penhaligon’s, Kylie Cosmetics, and La Prairie Art of Beauty.
Close to beauty is a new fashion and accessories area with brands such as Chloé, Kenzo, Lanvin, and MM6 Maison Margiela available in Australian airport retail only at this store. Heinemann has also extended its watches and jewelry ranges, adding brands like Qeelin (for which owner Kering plans to create an in-house beauty line), Breitling, Hublot, and Piaget.
The store is spread across three island spaces nestled within Sydney Airport’s luxury precinct called SYD X, located at the T1 international terminal. Here a Louis Vuitton store anchors the offer, with Cartier and Versace arriving later this year to complete a 20-boutique lineup. It is claimed to be the largest collection of luxury brands in Australia.
Beauty Gets Bigger
As part of the redevelopment, Heinemann has increased the space dedicated to beauty to squeeze in more labels and larger, experiential boutiques. Among them are Acqua di Parma, Burberry, Chloé, and Fresh―all of which are available at an Australian airport for the first time.
Among the local beauty brands present are Goldfield & Banks, the maker of “true Australian olfactory art,” in the company’s own words; Jurlique; Kora Organics; and Grown Alchemist, acquired by L’Occitane last year. On social media, Goldfield & Banks described its space at the airport as “experimental” and “three years in the making.”
Commenting on the simultaneous launch of SYD X and the new Heinemann offer, Sydney Airport’s Executive General Manager Commercial, Mark Zaouk, said in a statement: “In 2019, we set out to change the face of luxury at Sydney Airport. Meticulous work has gone into creating a luxury shopping destination worth arriving early for. We continue to position Sydney Airport as a key player on the world stage of luxury.”
Traffic Still an Issue
That positioning relies very much on international high-spending travelers, particularly the Chinese. During the Covid crisis they were unable to cross their own borders―a situation that changed in early January―giving Sydney hope that its new shopping space will yield stronger sales in 2023.
Data for the full 12 months of last year indicate that international passenger traffic was down by just over 50% on the pre-pandemic year of 2019, though December numbers were significantly better, down 28%.On January 20, Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said: “The recovery is by no means over though. There is significantly more work to do to rebuild overseas travel, with international passenger traffic still well behind pre-pandemic levels and lower flight numbers.”
Heinemann’s arrival at Sydney Airport in 2015 came after it won the master duty-free concession in T1 which covered nearly 10,000 square meters. The contract was renewed in 2019 for an additional 10 years. The Hamburg-based global travel retailer also operates retail shops at Gold Coast Airport in Australia.
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