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Issue 137 - A First for Europe

Whisky Magazine Issue 137
July 2016


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A First for Europe

Johnnie Walker House opens at Schiphol Airport

On 27 May 2016 Doug Bagley, Managing Director Global Travel and Middle East at Diageo, officially opened the first Johnnie Walker House in Europe, in the presence of Ewan Gunn, Global Scotch Whisky Ambassador and Guy Escolme, Brand Director Johnnie Walker. Hans Offringa was there, representing Whisky Magazine and had a short Q&A with all three.

Q: What is a Johnnie Walker House?
A: An exclusive embassy for luxury Scotch whisky. Each is built around the theme of ‘Whisky Conversations' and designed to immerse you in the history, provenance and pioneering spirit of the Johnnie Walker brand. Part gallery, part lifestyle space and part museum, it brings together luxury whisky innovation with art, design, fine dining and culture.

Q: Where did it start?
A: It was originally a concept in Asia for the domestic market. We first opened JW Houses in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Seoul in the domestic market. It worked so well that we decided to branch out to Travel Retail in Asia and now to Europe.

Q: What is the strategy behind this type of international outlet?
A: That is a threefold one. Firstly, premiumisation or moving towards the more expensive premium products. Secondly we offer exclusive whisky expressions, unique to each House and only available there, as a special gift for the visitor/traveller to take home. Thirdly we aim to make the Travel Retail shopping experience enjoyable for travellers. About 12 per cent of travellers buy spirits in Travel Retail and the JW house ...

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