Whisky Magazine Issue 18
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Martin Moodie reports on duty free stores that have abandoned the “stack ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap” mentality and become innovative, enticing and packed full of whisky delights to tempt the traveller
The giant posters adorning Sydney airport are as loud and brash as the meatiest Aussie shiraz. “Guilt Free Duty Free” blares out the copy line underneath images of Rayban-wearing nuns carrying ghetto blasters, Sony Walkmans and Chanel No 5. All that's missing is a bottle or two of Lagavulin poking out from under their habits – even for the Aussies that might have been a step too far.
The controversial campaign, run by the world's number two duty free retailer, The Nuance Group (part of the troubled
Swissair Group), is typical of the in your face manner in which the world's top duty free retailers are trying to turn captive travellers into captivated shoppers. Nuance didn't stop at rocking nuns. For its famous lesbian and gay Mardi Gras festival the company featured Stolichnaya vodka wrapped in leather as duty free finally came out of the closet and began to realise the value of the pink pound (I once wrote a spoof for a duty free magazine a few years earlier in which I announced the launch of Johnnie Walker Pink Label, a blended whisky for gay men, in which the famous striding man minced across the label in a vest and tight leather pants – a bemused United Distillers was flooded with orders).
Now before our readers choke on their drams in the glens of Scotland, let me assure you this is not an article about the outing of Scotch whisky. I cite Nuance's offbeat approach only to underline the way many duty free stores are becoming some of the most innovative in the wo...