GERMANY. Stena Line affiliate R&F Travel Retail opened its first store at Cologne Bonn Airport on 28 April, offering duty paid goods ranging from wines & spirits to fragrances & cosmetics, confectionery, toys and fashion.
R&F has been a supplier to shipping companies, embassies and airports for over 40 years. This is the first time that the company has opened an airport store of its own.
“It’s of course a very humbling experience to open a new shop during these unprecedented times but we are very happy and proud to be able to introduce a new retail direction in great cooperation with Cologne Bonn Airport,” said R&F Travel Retail interim Managing Director Jari Virtanen. The company claimed that sales had “exceeded expectations” in the early trading period despite reduced passenger traffic.
“With the fun and eye-catching interior, new ways of merchandising and affordable prices, R&F aims to move away from the traditional airport shop. And the concept has proved to be a hit among shoppers,” it said.
“We were certainly careful in our sales predictions before opening, however, we are absolutely amazed by the response from customers. Right now, we are looking into hiring additional staff for the shop, something we didn’t plan for until much later,” said R&F Travel Retail Commercial Activity Leader Kajsa Edvardsson.
R&F developed all aspects of the store, from layout to interior design, in-house. While the concept has been created for Cologne Bonn Airport, R&F Travel Retail said it hopes to take it to other locations in the future.
“We are preparing for a time after the pandemic and can see this concept working for other airports or travel retail shops. Hopefully, this is the first step in an international expansion for both R&F and Stena Line,” said Virtanen.