Whisky Magazine Issue 60
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In this round table we ask how you make whisky the gift of choice over other luxury goods using price,positioning, promotion and packaging.
Ian Bankier – The Whisky Shop IB
Ken Grier – Malt director for the Edrington Group KG
Larry Kass – Heaven Hill distilleries LK
Jim Long – Chivas Bros. JL
Robbie Millar – Compass Box RM
IB: First, whisky needs to be available to the consumer on prime sites on the High Street and shopping mall, just as perfumes, fashion accessories and other branded goods are. The quality of that retail space gives the consumer confidence that this is a worthy and desirable gift. The location also allows whisky to be considered as an option along with other gifting items.
This is a challenge for the industry, because booze is traditionally sold from corner shops, supermarkets and other sites. It is made more difficult by the fact that historic pricing structures do not allow enough margin for the retailer to easily afford expensive retail space. The industry embraces these factors with airport retailing, but is slow to convert this thinking to domestic sales.
Deep discounting of prestigious brands in multiples does not encourage the consumer to give the item as a gift. Many of our customers at The Whisky Shop actually specify that they do not want to give something that is likely to appear in the local supermarket at £5 off. To me, this is obvious and if whisky is to be the natural gift of choice we need to limit the nonsensical discounting at Christmas.
Packaging and appearance is more important than the brand name itself. Many gift buyers are not whisky connoisseurs...