Job Description :
Last April, Diageo announced a £150 million investment program to transform our Scotch whisky visitor experiences in the biggest concerted programme ever seen in Scotland’s whisky tourism sector. As the centre-piece of the investment and the future global brand flagship for Johnnie Walker, the visitor experience in central Edinburgh will bring to life the story of the brand and its makers and create a unique welcome for millions of whisky fans around the world.
The Johnnie Walker visitor experience in Edinburgh and “4 Corners” distillery transformations will also be a global focal point as Diageo build towards the 200th Anniversary of Johnnie Walker in 2020. This major high-street investment project - with its plan to create world-leading, authentic and cultural visitor experiences - will attract new audiences and help diversify Edinburgh’s tourism landscape, bringing vibrant new activity and footfall to the west end of Princes Street.
Additionally, Johnnie Walker opened its first retail flagship store in Madrid in November 2018. The store has become a leading shopping destination for fans of Johnnie Walker and is introducing more people to our brand through a variety of experiences, whisky masterclasses and tastings
Scotch is at the heart of our business and performing well, reporting 7% net sales growth in our recent half year results. Scotch makes up 27% of our business. So in addition to growing our iconic Johnnie Walker brand, we’re also focused on supporting the growth of the whisky category at large.
Our single malt distillery visitor centres in Scotland have been experiencing double digit visitor growth rates in recent years and we know from extensive research and our own experience at the iconic Guinness Storehouse that immersive experiences directly influence future purchase behaviour. 7 in 10 of visitors to whisky distilleries will buy the brand when back in their home market.
Our visitor centres are a special platform for us to engage, entertain, and educate guests directly – whether they are brand adorers or just curious about whisky. Starting at “Whisky Mile Marker Zero” at the Johnnie Walker brand home in Edinburgh, to the 4 Corners, to our single malt brand homes across Scotland, our guests can learn how Scotch whisky is made and how to enjoy it in surprising ways. Commercial success will be critical to delivering on the business case and securing future investment. As such, each location will be managed as a comprehensive P&L business with management reporting into Global/Corporate.
Diageo has a rich history of welcoming guests to our distilleries and giving them insight into the care and craft that goes into every single bottle of whisky we make. We are fortunate to have more distillery visitor centres than any other Scotch whisky producer and we have continually invested to grow and enhance our guest experiences. Almost a half million people visit annually to hear our founder stories, learn about flavour creation, and participate in curated tastings. As a result, consumers build an emotional connection with our brands, driving salience and supporting their growth. Distillery visitors feel they appreciate the product more after visiting, particularly through identifying the flavours, new ways of drinking and taking a multi-sensorial approach. 62% claim the distillery visit has made them think differently about whisky.
The goal for each distillery site (and for Johnnie Walker in Edinburgh) is to revolve around a unique theme that is authentic to the brand stories and enhances the site character and location. To this end, resources will be directed at enhancing the visitor experiences in service of theme, emotional engagement, increasing opportunities for revenue, and extending the brand connection well beyond the visit.
Purpose of Role
The Retail Merchandising Manager will define the product assortments (liquid, apparel, lifestyle, gifting, etc.) for all Scotch whisky brand homes and retail. He/she will align closely with Diageo Brand Change, Innovation & Global Brand Teams to ensure that retail and brand homes have the best and most complete liquid assortment for their respective brand in the world. He/she will identify and develop retail or brand home exclusives and brand extensions (i.e. fashion apparel) as needed.
As part of the whisky retail/brand homes central leadership team, he/she will help set the tone for customer engagement, encourage people to discover Scotch whisky, and promote responsible drinking.
Dimensions of the role
This is a multifaceted role in the sense that our Scotch whisky brands need to bring traditional retail shopping experiences to a new level, building experiential and customer interactions seamlessly into the experience environment. The candidate must have an in-depth understanding of retail merchandising principals, product development, retail fundamentals, and an eye for style and design details. He/she will be directly responsible for growing non-liquid retail merchandise sales from £1m in FY19 to £5m by FY23.
Pre-Opening and On-Going Responsibilities
Qualifications and Experience required