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AI-powered Martell boutique opens in Hainan

Pernod Ricard Travel Retail has cut the ribbon on a new luxury Cognac boutique in China’s duty-free haven Hainan. The drinks giant says the digitalised experience is like stepping into “virtual and real-life theatre”.

Would you like your Cognac prepared by a robot? You can experience this and other one-off experiences at a new duty-free boutique on the Southern Chinese island of Hainan.

The prestigious Cognac house has vowed to revolutionise the way consumers shop with its new 140sqm store, which houses a host of immersive experiences, including fully digitalised merchandising units, robot bartenders and VIP tastings.

Located inside the Haikou Mova Mall on Hainan, the boutique is the industry’s first “AI-powered” shopping experience. One of its key features is the Martell Untouchable Taste, which guides shoppers through the Martell range, offering personalised recommendations based on their preferences.

This recommendation is then shared with a Martell robot bartender, which conjures up the shopper’s chosen Cognac served neat, over ice, or mixed into a cocktail.

Opened in partnership with GDF Plaza and Alibaba Dury Joint Venture, the Martell boutique is also going big on gifting, offering rare opportunities for personalising Cognac with bespoke bottle engravings and customised metallic stickers for Chinese travellers to take home to friends and family. A luxury gift-wrapping service is also available in-store.

“This immersive, interactive, and personalised in-store experience truly shows that Martell is at the forefront of the new way of shopping,” said Liya Zhang, vice president of marketing, PR GTR.

To celebrate the store opening, visitors to the store will receive a free Martell cocktail glass and tote bag with every purchase, following a booked tasting. Every digital pre-order purchase will also come with a free tasting in the VIP area during July and August.

“Hainan shoppers expect the very latest in retail experiences,” said Yuewen Lin, president GDF Plaza. “We are proud to open this boutique with Martell, and to attract spirits lovers to our shopping centre and provide them with such exciting retail theatre.”

Restructured in 2017, Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail brings together the Asia Pacific, Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa travel retail arms into one global retail hub.

Hainan is an island province of China and the nation’s southernmost point. The favourite tourist spot announced its official duty-free policy in 2011, and in 2020 this was updated to allow an increased duty-free shopping allowance of 100,000 RMB, with the number of categories covered extended to 45, including alcoholic drinks, gadgets and tech such as tablets, mobile phones and game consoles.


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