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Irish whiskey sales up 30% at new airport outlet

Sales of Irish whiskey are up by 30 per cent at Dublin Airport this year due to a new ‘showcase’ outlet for Irish whiskey which opened in Terminal 2 last November.

The opening of the Irish Whiskey Collection, a new store-within-a-store concept devised by DAA’s in-house retail team, was developed to stimulate demand for Irish whiskey and to showcase the category to both Irish and international travellers.

“Increasing our sales by 30 per cent in the current economic climate is an incredible achievement and it’s all thanks to the Irish Whiskey Collection,” according to DAA Retail Director Paul Neeson, “We wanted to create an amazing shop window for Irish whiskey and we’re already reaping the benefits of our investment in the category.”

The Irish Whiskey Collection stocks more than 125 different products in an 80 square metre store that takes its design cue from the luxury cosmetics and perfumery sectors rather than the traditional airport liquor shop.

The store stocks all the leading Irish whiskey brands as well a number of smaller independent brands and several exclusive premium whiskeys, only available at Dublin Airport.

“Our goal is to be the best Irish whiskey shop in the world,” said Paul, “This is a shrine to Irish Whiskey, which is one of this country’s greatest exports. By providing a quality shop window for the Irish whiskey sector and by working in partnership with the trade we aim to increase the profile and grow sales for the entire Irish whiskey industry.”

The outlet has helped grow Dublin Airport’s duty-free Irish whiskey sales by 39 per cent this year and has also had a dramatic impact on duty-paid sales for customers travelling within the EU, which have increased by 25 per cent.

The design of the store is aimed at meeting the needs of the existing whiskey buyer and also drawing in travellers who’d not normally enter a whiskey shop.

“We wanted to de-mystify the Irish whiskey category,” he explained.

The store’s walls have a high black gloss lacquer finish, LCD screens are used to tell the Irish whiskey story and the POS material carries clear information on each product and its provenance as well as Irish Whiskey Collection branding.

The centrepiece of the outlet from a design perspective is a black Tipperary Crystal chandelier while museum-style display cases feature some of the premium whiskeys available.

“We are working closely with all the major suppliers and brands and we’re sure that the Irish Whiskey Collection will play its part in showcasing the fantastic range of products available within the Irish whiskey sector,” said Paul.

The shop hosts regular tastings for customers and has also produced The Ultimate Guide to Irish Whiskey, a free mini-guide to the sector.

“All passengers, whether purchasing or not are given the same level of service by our enthusiastic staff who have been highly trained to become, in effect, whiskey consultants,” according to Paul.

The Irish Whiskey Collection stocks major brands such as Jameson, Bushmills, Paddy, Powers and Tullamore Dew as well smaller independent whiskies such as Inis Turk Beg, John L Sullivan and Coleraine. The store also carries a number of exclusives such as a 19 Year-Old Greenore Single Cask and a 1991 Midleton Distillery Single Cask, both of which are only available at Dublin Airport.

“We’re committed to carrying the entire range of Irish whiskey to satisfy aficionados and novices alike,” said Paul, “If we don’t have an Irish whiskey then it’s not worth having.”

DAA now plans to introduce the concept to Terminal One and to Cork and Shannon airports.

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