Long gone are the days of stocking up on cheap liquor and cigarettes at tired, lackluster souvenir shops at airports. In the last few years, airports have become the shopping malls of modern times, undergoing a design evolution that has rejuvenated the shopping experience for travelers and transformed many terminals into luxury shopping malls featuring high-end brands and goods.
Little River-based Bloommiami, a leading travel retail design and production company, is pushing this evolution forward throughout the country. One Miami International Airport project in particular embodies this new wave of design, the Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky store. A partnership between Diageo Global Travel Retail and Duty Free Americas, the outpost is the first in the Americas.
A permanent fixture in the airport’s North Terminal, the store’s design is a nod to the brand’s history and immerses travelers in everything Johnnie Walker. Upon entering, travelers are greeted by a Johnnie walker Striding Man statute – a real-life representation of the brand’s iconic logo.
The store features an intricate floor design, which took 56 hours to install. Lighting elements including stretch fabric ceiling canopies, edge-lit shelving and backlit product glorification pads played a key role in creating a museum-like environment. Inlaid Alexander Walker quotes – heir of the Johnnie Walker brand – also greet travelers at the store’s entrance.
A wall-to-wall lightbox with illustrations inspired by Miami, and large museum-style images depicting the history of Johnnie Walker. The designers also incorporated a single malts library display wall design to mimic a mixer’s lab, and an engraving station where customers can personalize bottles.
“The store’s design allows for serendipitous educational moments and promotes exploration by curious travelers. Even non-whisky connoisseurs will enjoy learning about the rich heritage of this brand,” said Darin Held, partner at Bloommiami.
Next up for MIA is an ambitious renovation of many of the Duty-Free stores spearheaded by Duty Free Americas. The company, which shared its plans with The Moodie Davitt Report, is investing $17 million into its stores to enhance customer experience. Plans include expanding entryways to allow for better accessibility, creating promotional zones to increase brand personalization, and adding more digital components throughout the stores.
Next time you’re flying in or out of MIA, be on the lookout for these new design-centric changes…they might just improve your travel experience!
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