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The new name for Shop Spec

First-of-its-kind experiential whisky retail store from Johnnie Walker

The Madrid store is an exciting destination for Scotch lovers and whisky novices alike.

It plays host to a wide variety of immersive experiences, including whisky appreciation classes and tastings designed to help people explore the world of Johnnie Walker and Scotch.

It was essential that the concept encouraged the discovery of Johnnie Walker and helped the brand reach a new audience, with a focus on millennials and women. It also needed to break with conventions and have a look and feel that moved away from the masculine connotations associated with whisky. Setting the tone for the space is the overall palette - optimistic and colourful, it’s a far cry from the moody environment associated with whisky.

As today’s retail landscape evolves, so do customer expectations of in-store experiences. Johnnie Walker needed to meet these expectations by providing fun, immersive experiences that also serve a purpose. Throughout the space are clear, expressive signage, wayfinding and branding that invite customers into the brand world and help to tell the story. Behind a life size sculpture of the Johnnie Walker mascot is a fun illuminated light that reads ‘keep walking Madrid’ – a playful detail that roots the store to its locality.

Towards the front of the store a wall showcases the whisky range. The wall is divided by the coloured labels that relate to each particular whisky and its flavour profile. Accompanying each whisky is a bell jar so customers can smell the whisky’s scent. In the below drawers are takeaway recipe cards that give younger customers a relatable context in which to appreciate the whiskies. This whole experience aims to demystify the whisky buying process.

In the middle of the wall is an ‘explore our whiskies’ screen where customers can find out more about what goes into each whisky. This feature also educates whisky connoisseurs on Johnnie Walker. Making the point that although the drinks are blended whiskies, they are a premium product as they’re made from a number of beautiful single malt Scotch whiskies. They can then head to the tasting table to try a sample.

Customers can finish their ‘perfect serve’ experience by heading to the interactive hosting area at the centre of the store. Here guests can discover the craft of cocktail making. They can buy all the ingredients – including fresh fruit – that go into making each cocktail. There will also be seasonal offerings, for instance this festive season a Johnnie Walker expert was in store demonstrating how you can impress guests with a pairing of frozen Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve and a taste of hand-made, award-winning Scottish chocolate.

At the back of the store there’s a ‘My Edition’ station that houses special whiskies and is aimed at connoisseurs. They can sample the whiskies straight from wooden barrels and then buy bottled versions, which can be personalised with an engraving or label.

In terms of the finishes and fixtures, what makes this store so unique is the high attention to detail and premium finishes used. From the plush velvets, to the sleek marble, the sophisticated black metal work, and beautifully grained timber, this store is a really premium space. Warm lighting has been used to create an inviting environment and industrial fixtures ensure the space has a clean, modern feel that appeals to millennial shoppers. Local artist, Nuria Toll was commissioned to create a unique piece of art that acts as a bold, Instagrammable moment in the store’s centre.