Johnnie Walker adds Bahrain to House footprintBy Kristiane Sherry
Diageo Global Travel has opened its first permanent Johnnie Walker House in the Middle East at Bahrain Duty Free in partnership with Aer Rianta International (ARI).
Located within the newly renovated Bahrain Duty Free departures area, the “multi-sensory” retail concept combines shopping with history and provenance education for the Johnnie Walker blended Scotch brand, and the whisky-making process.
The 15sqm space has been designed to merge retail innovation with the history of the brand in a “part gallery, part museum” experience.
Build on the theme of “whisky conversations”, Johnnie Walker House Bahrain features a whisky scent bar where travellers can explore the whisky’s flavours and aromas.
In addition, the store offers a number of personalisation options and customised labelling options to tap into gifting opportunities.
The store stocks a wide range of Johnnie Walker products, including the full colour collection.
To celebrate the launch the boutique is offering a number of special releases, including the John Walker & Sons Master Blenders Collection, and limited edition designs of Johnnie Walker House Willow Collection.
“We are delighted to extend our Johnnie Walker House footprint to travellers in Bahrain for the first time,” said Dayalan Nayager, managing director, Diageo Global Travel.
“The Middle East is a key location for super deluxe Scotch whisky and therefore critically important to the Johnnie Walker House global expansion strategy.
“I would like to thank our partners Aer Rianta International and Bahrain International Airport for the collaboration. Bahrain International is a key international travel hub, forecasted to welcome 7 million passengers in the 2016 calendar year, with strong passenger growth predicted in the coming years. This growth, combined with the escalating demand for luxury spirits in travel retail, offers a prime opportunity for Johnnie Walker to deliver an innovative shopping experience to travellers, as well as giving them access to some of the world’s finest Scotch whiskies.”
Andre Chong, global head of Johnnie Walker House, added: “Travellers are increasingly looking for luxurious shopping experiences that both educate and inspire them, and with the opening of Johnnie Walker House Bahrain we continue to respond to this demand as we step up our investment in luxury retail activations.
“Exclusivity is integral to Johnnie Walker House and Johnnie Walker House Bahrain is no different. It offers shoppers an unforgettable experience; we tell the story of our spirits through knowledgeable brand ambassadors and impactful retail theatre, fulfilling our ambitions to bring joy back to the journey by helping to make the purchasing process one of ease.”
Bassam Al Wardi, general manager Bahrain Duty Free, commented: “We are thrilled to partner with Diageo to open the first permanent Johnnie Walker House in the region.
“Bahrain Duty Free and ARI are committed to providing customers with engaging brand experiences in a luxury environment and this stunning whisky emporium realises this aspiration.
“It’s a fantastic addition to our recently renovated departures area and the perfect showcase to entice our growing passenger base to explore and enjoy this iconic brand.”
Diageo Global Travel’s Johnnie Walker House Bahrain is the latest addition to the rapidly expansing House network. In September, the brand opened three new Johnnie Walker House concept stores, including a co-branded space with baijiu distillery Shui Jing Fang at Beijing Capital International Airport.