INTERNATIONAL - Diageo Plc’s flagship Scotch whisky label is set to open a retail store in the center of Madrid to offer classes, tastings and a “deep dive into the flavors.”
Johnnie Walker’s first “experiential store” will include interactive areas and a personalization station, all centered on whisky, the company announced in a statement Wednesday.
The new retail bet follows Diageo’s portfolio refocus on its core labels and an investment of 150 million pounds ($197 million) in whisky tourism throughout Scotland. The world’s largest distiller said it chose Madrid because it’s a top tourist destination, also citing the popularity of scotch in Spain.
“It makes sense for Diageo, under pressure to position its Johnnie Walker whisky as a luxury brand, to open its first experiential flagship store in Madrid,” said Duncan Fox, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in London. He said he expects more stores will follow.
Europe accounted for 24 percent of Diageo’s 2017 revenue, and scotch is its top-selling product.