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Closing the Deal of a Lifetime: Istanbul’s New Mega Airport

Heinemann
Landing the contract for duty-free at the New Istanbul International Airport was no small feat for Gebr. Heinemann/Unifree DutyFree—and Interbrand helped them do it.

Boasting 53,000 square meters of luxury boutiques, a Turkish bazaar, a duty-free shop, restaurants, and game zones, the New Istanbul International Airport will be the world’s biggest—and one with remarkable retail dimensions. Landing the contract for duty-free at this site was no small feat for Gebr. Heinemann/Unifree DutyFree—and Interbrand helped them do it.

The contract, which Gebr. Heinemann describes as the “greatest single success” in its 136-year history, is for the operation of all airside retail space at Istanbul New Airport for a 25-year period. How did the duty-free retailer score this huge win and overcome stiff competition? They sought out the support they needed during the bidding process.

To prepare Gebr. Heinemann for success, we worked to ensure the company’s bidding package would impress on every level. Aiming to strengthen all aspects of the proposed approach, we developed strategy, provided copy and layout design, worked to beautifully convey the architecture and design experience, developed marketing and merchandising plans, enhanced conceptual design for the airside retail shops, and ensured that the management and operation plans that Heinemann and partner Unifree DutyFree intended to employ at the new airport were sound.

In 91 days, three submissions consisting of more than 500 pages in total were delivered via three packaging systems, including floor plans for the 53,000 square meter retail area.

The sophisticated bidding package enabled Gebr. Heinemann to secure what many consider the most important airport project in the world—and what may prove to be the most lucrative deal in the company’s long history.

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