TAIWAN. The Macallan single malt Scotch whisky and parent Edrington officially opened its first stand-alone boutique in partnership with Ever Rich Duty Free at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Monday.
The eye-catching 44sq m store is situated in a prime departures location just after immigration, facing one of Ever Rich Duty Free’s key liquor & tobacco stores. The move builds on Ever Rich Duty Free’s status as the number one customer for The Macallan in travel retail, and on Taiwan’s status as the brand’s biggest market in the channel.
At a special event at the airport on Monday (attended by The Moodie Davitt Report) Edrington Global Travel Retail Managing Director Aristotelis Baroutsis said: “This is a milestone for The Macallan: the first ever stand-alone boutique. What better place to be than in Taipei at the world’s leading airport for The Macallan. I thank Ever Rich Duty Free and the airport for their support.
“We hope to engage not only with existing fans of The Macallan and whisky connoisseurs but also create a lasting impression on a new generation of consumers in Asia through an immersive and memorable experience.”
Ever Rich Duty Free Vice President Merchandising Department Patricia Wang told us: “When The Macallan spoke to us about this opportunity, we said it has to come first to Taiwan. We had to find an attractive location, which we have done. It shows our respect for this brand. We want to show this new concept from The Macallan to all passengers.
“We have made a big effort to showcase this brand and this underlines why we are their number one customer in duty free. We also receive a number of house exclusives, which offers further opportunity and which helps us to encourage travellers to upgrade their spending.”
The design is inspired by The Macallan’s new distillery and visitor experience (set to open in early 2018). The boutique aims to bring to life the brand’s heritage through storytelling and experiences.
Milestone moment: The Macallan and Ever Rich Duty Free senior executives cut the ribbon to officially open the store.
It also offers the widest selection of The Macallan in duty free, including a number of exclusive and rare expressions. These include the newly launched Classic Travel range; limited edition Archival Series Folio 1, available only at the distillery in Scotland and at this boutique. Other items include selections from the Fine & Rare range; The Macallan 65 Year Old in Lalique, one of just 450 created; the latest expression from the Golden Age of Travel series; the M Decanter; The Macallan No. 6 in Lalique; Oscuro, part of the Masters Series. A new Boutique Collection, created especially for Ever Rich Duty Free, will be introduced towards year-end, starting a new series of limited editions for this location.
The store delivers a mix of ultra-luxury and more accessible items, with price points ranging from US$75 to US$45,000.
A number of detailed design elements and interactive digital installations neatly engage the traveller in the store. These are each aimed at encouraging “discovery and exploration” of the brand, said Edrington Global Travel Retail.
At the centre of the consumer journey is the story of the wood which plays a crucial role in the creating the single malt. This is reflected in both the design and architectural touches, as well as some superb experiential elements featured in the boutique. These include:
– The Wonder Wall: Attracting travellers into the boutique through an immersive video content wall featuring the brand story from acorn to glass.
– Master of Wood: Highlighting the importance of wood to The Macallan, this introduces shoppers to the three cask types in which its whisky matures. These are, respectively, European and American oak casks seasoned with sherry and American oak casks seasoned with bourbon.
– Master of Taste: An interactive engagement table gives consumers the opportunity to explore and discover the aromas and flavours of The Macallan through a nosing and tasting experience. Based on their favoured preferences and drinking style, digital displays then recommend an expression for shoppers.
– Master of Convenience: Offering consumers a selection of the core expressions of The Macallan, the branded corner is equipped with a transparent, sliding interactive screen that provides consumers with information on each product within the range.
– Master of Gifting: A dedicated space for personalisation, gift packing and sale of festive or seasonal products.
Regional Brand Director APAC and Global Travel Retail Coral Gill said: “Consumer engagement and storytelling is at the heart of our strategy for growing The Macallan. From the story of the wood which is used to create our casks, through to the exceptional nature of the spirit itself, our new boutique tells the story of The Macallan creatively, innovatively and in a highly compelling fashion which we believe will resonate strongly with consumers. By using elements from our new distillery and visitor experience, we wanted to give people a glimpse into the future and The Macallan’s state of the art brand home.”
Edrington Marketing Manager Global Travel Retail Marcelo Colombo noted: “What is central for us is the quality of the retail experience. The boutique is the maximum expression of this. We won’t have a boutique at every airport but the idea is to convey the same experience using different formats at different locations, all inspired by this new design. We want to roll out the format through shop-in-shops or gondolas to tell the same story.”
“There are very few single malt brands with the appeal, heritage and brand equity to support an initiative like this,” added Baroutsis. “This boutique underlines our commitment to travel retail in the long term. Ensuring The Macallan becomes the number one single malt in travel retail is not necessarily a goal in itself, but if we follow the recent curve, that is likely to happen. For the brand, travel retail represents 15% of total revenue, which is significant.”
*We’ll bring you further comment, reaction and images from this major event in coming days.