Heathrow T5 promises liquor innovation with Diageo brands

27 August, 2008
Page 12 
Liquor retailing in travel retail is set to reach new heights when London Heathrow's 4.3 billion Terminal 5 opens later this month.

BAA-owned World Duty Free has allocated the liquor and tobacco sector more than 600sq m in a separate store, which faces the larger multi-category shop on the main passenger route into the departures terminal.

The shop incorporates some firsts for the travel-retail industry, most significantly a style bar developed and funded in partnership with Diageo. The circular bar is dominated by a giant chandelier , made up of nearly 300 fibre optic tubes. Mixologists will serve cocktails using Diageo-owned brands.

"The initial idea for the bar came out of our ongoing discussions with WDF about how we evolve and transform the retail environment," said Diageo global travel & Middle East marketing director Nick Robinson.

"The concept gradually emerged as a proper, functioning cocktail bar within the store rather than as a place to sample the brands. It's definitely a first for us."

He added that other suppliers' brands would be available on request . A number of cocktails specially created for T5 with brands such as C&icircroc vodka, Johnnie Walker Green Label whisky and Tanqueray gin will feature during the terminal's launch period.

Along the back wall of the store is a jumble of Sony plasma TV screens called the Media Wall, which will be used for liquor advertising and consumer education.

At the other end of the store is the Connoisseurs Bar, dedicated to the sampling of high-end malt whisky and Cognac. "We will be serving whisky and Cognac from proper glasses, and travellers will receive one-to-one guidance from trained experts about what they are tasting," said WDF managing director Mark Riches.

The main multi-category shop features a shop-in-shop World of Whiskies outlet. It will stock seven rare malt whiskies created for the T5 opening, including a Bowmore 1965 40 Year Old priced at 6,000, and the first ever malt whisky released from William Grant & Sons' Kinivie distillery. Hazelwood 17 Year Old will be priced at 350.