With competition heating up — within the whisky market and among other types of wine, beer and spirits products — brands are stepping up their marketing game. Winning global whisky brands will be able to grab a growing share of the segment, expected to reach $7.4 billion by 2023, a 5.3% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) 5-year increase.
Johnnie Walker is looking to compete by targeting European consumers (and tourists) with a new experience-focused store in Madrid this year. Offering features including a virtual tour of Scotland, an interactive hosting area where customers can learn the art of cocktail-making, and a personalization station, the first Johnnie Walker flagship store opened in Madrid, Spain on Nov. 8. And if all that’s not enough, the store also sells whisky.
The experiential store, located in the fashionable Barrio de Salamanca district of Madrid, will offer whisky appreciation classes and tastings. Products include a special collection of Johnnie Walker whiskies; some of the rarest single malt scotches from which Johnnie Walker is crafted; and limited edition curated collaborations exclusive to the new store.
The virtual tour, Discover Scotland through Johnnie Walker, takes customers to the four corners of the country, including the Highlands, the Islands, the Lowlands and Speyside. Seasonal offerings include an in-store cocktail expert demonstrating how to pair frozen Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve with Scottish chocolates. At the personalization station, shoppers can find unique gifts and add bespoke engravings and labels.
“We’re always looking for new ways to surprise and engage our customers and this kind of experiential Johnnie Walker flagship store does just that,” said John Williams, Global Brand Director for Johnnie Walker in a statement. “It also adds a sense of fun and discovery to shopping and is a whole new way of experiencing the diversity and rich heritage of Johnnie Walker.”
The Madrid store opening follows the announcement of a £150 million investment in Scotch whisky tourism by Johnnie Walker’s parent company Diageo, including plans for a Johnnie Walker visitor experience in Edinburgh. The Johnnie Walker brand will celebrate its bicentennial in 2020.