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Spirits need to be in 'touch with feminine side'

27 August, 2008
Page 11 
The owner of U'Luvka vodka has urged duty-free retailers to make their spirit assortments and in-store merchandising more welcoming to women.

"The drinks industry is run by men for men," said Mark Holmes, managing director and founder of London-based The Brand Distillery.

"Yet women are behind 86per cent of buying decisions in retail. That's crazy. We need to make the typical duty-free store drinks section much more female friendly."

With its award-winning teardrop-shaped bottle, with twisted neck and accompanying legless glasses, Holmes argues that U'Luvka vodka appeals equally to both sexes and could work to lure more female travellers into the duty-free spirits market .

"One leading travel-retail buyer I spoke to said he'd like to put our 10cl miniature on display in the perfume and cosmetics area as a hook to bring women back into spirits," added Holmes.

"U'Luvka is the brand the sector needs to entice more women shoppers into the masculine spirits section. This is probably why we sold out in the first hour that we were on the shelf at Selfridges in London."

Launched in May 2005, U'Luvka is now available in 30 countries worldwide and is beginning to make inroads into duty-free with listings at The Nuance Group across Europe, and in the Middle East with Dubai Duty Free and Abu Dhabi Duty Free.

The vodka is available in travel retail as a standalone 70cl bottle priced at 32, or as a 45 gift pack containing a cocktail book and a pair of legless glasses.