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Guinness rolls out interactive travel retail site

Guinness has opened a new travel retail outlet in Dublin airport that aims to offer a new, more interactive experience for travellers that includes tutored beer tasting.

The new Guinness Export House in Terminal 2 of Dublin Airport is the result of a partnership between brand owner Diageo and Aer Rianta International.

Guinness global content creation & innovation director Gavin Krenski, said the new retail outlet represented “a unique opportunity to tell the Guinness story through taste and experience” and had the potential to roll out across other sites owned by ARI.

“It is a big bold concept for a pioneering, ambitious brewer with a continuing thirst for discovery,” Krenski said. “And what better place to launch the inaugural Guinness Export House, than the home of Guinness, Dublin.”

The store will have a Guinness Beer Ambassador on-site to guide the 20-minute tasting experience.

Rupert Pick, co-founder of retail and experiential agency Hot Pickle, which created the shop design, said the project has been a collaborative project from the stage of defining the retail strategy and customer experience through to designing the environment, developing the brand identity, creating the product packaging and delivering all spoken and screen content for the tasting experience.

“It was a challenging brief but we are proud to have delivered a unique, interactive experience for Guinness in one of Dublin Airport’s prime locations,” he said.

ARI designs, manages and operates duty free and duty paid airport retail outlets in Europe, Asia and the Americas, including Canada, Cyprus, Venezuela, Delhi, Auckland, Bahrain and Muscat.

Diageo already works with ARI on its Johnnie Walker House in Bahrain Duty Free, which opened last November, one of more than 16 interactive Johnnie Walker Houses across global travel retail. These outlets, the first of which opened in Shanghai in 2011, include “whisky scent bars” and a “luxury mentoring and engagement zone” where brand ambassadors lead “sensorial experiences” into Scotch, according to db’s sister site, The Spirits Business.

Speaking to db in January, the president of the Tax Free World Association (TFWA), Erik Juul-Mortensen argued that innovation and new technology to engage customers and overcome the perception of poor value would be key to attracting customers back to travel retail after a “difficult year” last year.

In an article for db last year, Tom Bruce-Gardyne argued that today’s global traveller is increasingly looking for “total immersion marketing” at retail, with the global travel retail sector becoming “a glittering stage from which spirits brands seek to captivate consumers”.

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