Diageo GT opens dedicated whisky boutique at Haikou shopping complex

By Kristiane Sherry |

Diageo’s new whisky boutique offers digital and physical showcases of a range of luxury malts and blends.

Diageo Global Travel (GT) has welcomed shoppers into its new whisky-focused boutique at Hainan’s Haikou Duty Free International Shopping Complex, offering an ‘immersive’ experience spanning gifting and sampling.

Combining both digital and physical displays, the store aims to bring to life rare and exclusive malts and blends in an informative, educational and luxurious space.

Customers can taste and learn about whiskies at a sample station, including the styles and distilleries best suited to their individual palates and taste preferences.

A specialist gifting area offers bespoke packaging, giving every purchase the potential to be offered as a present.

According to Diageo GT, Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex as the potential to become the world’s largest travel retail location. 

Diageo added that it sees the Haikou complex as a “powerful” place to develop its brands and elevate them in the eyes of Scotch whisky consumers. 

The boutique was opened with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony and lion dance on 28 March 2023. 

Ahead of the opening, Diageo Scotch experts hosted a Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Talisker dinner with the CDF International team, which included a tasting of Talisker 44 Year Old, and Johnnie Walker 40 and 48 Year Old blends.  

A ‘journey of appreciation’ for customers

“We are incredibly proud of this boutique, of its ambition for our luxury scotch portfolio and its quality,” said Andrew Cowan, Diageo Global Travel Managing Director. 

“We know that it has a bright future as a beacon for rare and exclusive whisky gifting. This is a testament to the quality and craft, luxury and gifting that the liquids present. 

“Having a special place for us to bring consumers and customers on a journey of appreciation and anticipation is vital in our to bring the category to life and unlock the understanding of what a versatile and magnificent liquid it is.”

Toasting the new boutique: Chen Yuanliu, China Duty Free International group, Associate Director of Sales, Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex; Xiong Yanzhong, China Duty Free International group, General Manager Assistant, Imported Tobacco & Liquor, China Duty Free International group; Liu Hui, China Duty Free International group, General Manager, Imported Tobacco & Liquor, China Duty Free International group; Angela Chen, Diageo, Head of Greater China Global Travel, Diageo Global Travel; Wang Yi, China Duty Free International group, Deputy General Manager, Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex; and Selina Zhang, Diageo, Account Manager- China Travel Retail, Diageo Global Travel.

He continued: “We are proud to be part of Haikou International Duty Free’s development, as a paradigm for shoppers, holidaymakers and retailers. 

“CDFI and Haikou have shown their intent and ambition in travel retail – and it is hugely exciting to be part of it and to provide the sort of showcase in which our brands can demonstrate their credentials of quality and flavour. This is not simply a hub for visitors to shop, but an experience like no other. A new way to connect and learn about brands in the most creative, captivating, and luxurious way.” 

Last month, Diageo announced the retirement of its long-serving CEO Ivan Menezes, and named current Chief Operating Officer Debra Crew as his replacement.

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