Edinburgh’s award-winning Scotch Whisky Experience is about to embark on the next phase of its multimillion pound overhaul, designed to bring Scotland’s national drink into the 21st Century.
Following a £3m refurbishment of the attraction and the installation of the World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky, launched in 2009, the company is now turning its attention to its retail offering with a £1m renovation of its onsite whisky shop.
With Scotland’s most famous export now worth £4.5bn per year, the renovation project is designed to bring the retail experience up to date and in line with modern consumer trends, blazing a trail for the rest of the industry.
It will aim to blow away common myths and stereotypes surrounding Scotch whisky; not only re-classifying its full range of bottlings and re-categorizing its stock to be more user friendly, but also changing the ways in which customers chose their whisky by introducing interactive, self-service orientated facilities alongside the more traditional expert advisors.
With more and more emerging markets on the scene, many of the shop’s new features and facilities will be available in up to 20 different languages including Arabic, Korean, Hungarian and Brazilian.
The interior design itself will feature an expert combination of traditional and contemporary, creating an impressive shopping environment that celebrates the character and heritage of Scotch whisky. The interior will feature a five metre high natural slate wall and oak flooring, as well as unique elements including custom-made chandeliers, bespoke shelving and restored whisky cask ends as countertops, created by local specialist wood crafters, Laurence McIntosh.
Speaking about the renovation, director and general manager, Susan Morrison, comments: “Creating such a special shop is the next step in the complete refurbishment of our historic building, bringing the retail experience right up to date. By using a customer-focused approach we will make choosing the right whisky a breeze, matching brands to individual tastes and flavours. The new shop brings something different to the Royal Mile and will be a destination in itself with unique bottles on display, our interactive flavour map, expert staff– all built around the expertise and quality for which we are recognised.”
The project is being undertaken by designers, Bright 3D, and Edinburgh-based woodcraft specialist, Laurence McIntosh, and is due for completion in March 2012.