The 1,145 sqf luxury boutique designed by BloomMiami was opened last week with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Travel Markets Insider. The boutique was created to bring a luxurious and interactive space “where consumers could not only learn about whiskies, but also immerse themselves into the world and journeys of Johnnie Walker,” Israel Escobedo, Account Director for Diageo Global Travel Americas, said before the ribbon was cut.
The store showcases the latest products from the brand and offers shoppers special personalization and gifting opportunities through unique gifts, customized labeling and engraving services. Shoppers can also sample the Johnnie Walker blends and Diageo malt whiskies at the store’s elegantly designed bar.
“The decision to have this store in Miami International Airport was made because of its important location as the primary gateway between the United States and Latin America. Miami is a magical city with sunny beaches and an energetic vibe. It is for this reason that we wanted the store to pay tribute and to reflect the same spirit of this magical, energetic, and modern city,” continued Escobedo. “I would also like to mention that this Johnnie Walker store would not have been possible without our strong partnership with Duty Free Americas,” he said.
“Johnnie Walker’s world-renowned brand speaks for itself, and we are extremely proud to be the only airport in the Americas to have a Johnnie Walker boutique,” said Joe Napoli, Miami Dade Aviation Department Chief of Staff. “Duty Free Americas continues to be the top grossing concessionaire at our airport, and they are sure to see even more success with this beautiful new location.”
Leon Falic, DFA president, adds: “We are excited to partner with Diageo to open the first Johnnie Walker Store in The Americas.”
“This stunning whisky emporium has created an immersive luxury retail experience for our consumers looking to purchase and experience something extra special. Duty Free Americas remains committed to providing shoppers with engaging brand experiences and therefore we are delighted to welcome this exciting new addition to Miami International Airport.
“John Walker came here by boat but he is leaving here by Miami International Airport,” quipped Falic.
Education and engagement Diageo Global Travel Managing Director Dayalan Nayager told TMI that the Miami boutique will offer consumers much more than they would be able to get in a typical duty free store location.
“A lot of what will happen in the store is education. Where the scotch is from, which part of Scotland. How it is made. It is about being engaging, showcasing the brands, and bringing people into the category.
“The people who work here will be highly educated brand ambassadors who know the liquids. Visitors will have more access to malts. The store is not about packing the products on the shelves; it is about the engagement with the consumer. There is the bar where you can do tastings and trials. It is about scotch and building the scotch category,” he explained.
To commemorate the new store, Diageo has created a special cask strength limited edition that will be available only at the Miami International Airport Johnnie Walker store: The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Miami Edition. Inspired by the location and with a design created by local Miami illustrator Ernesto Miranje, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Miami Edition celebrates the Miami culture by picturing hand-crafted designs of well-known landmarks together with the brand’s journey from the agricultural lands of Kilmarnock in Scotland to the glistening shores of Miami.
This limited edition is currently on display inside the store and only 500 bottles will be available for purchase from March 2018.
“We know that people come to the airport to look for something special. This bottle is unique. It is personalized and local to Miami. The only place you can buy the Miami bottle in the world is in this store,” says Nayager.
The Johnnie Walker boutique features the same design featured on the Miami Edition bottle on the wall behind the cash register as well as design elements that were created to bring out the feel of the distilleries in Scotland.
“What we tried to do in the store is bring out the feeling of the distilleries. At the distilleries the stills are copper. You can see the copper coming through on the displays. You have the wood and the oak coming from the barrels and you have the peat,” says Nayager.
The store will also be offering a range of Scotch whiskies for consumers to discover including The Singleton, Talisker, Oban, Lagavulin and some of Diageo’s Special Release malts.