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 Planning and Allocations Manager will oversee the pre- and post-opening retail assortment planning and supply chain management for the Johnnie Walker brand home in Edinburgh, Scotland malt brand homes, and the Johnnie Walker retail flagship in Madrid with a strategic viewpoint toward achieving long-term customer service, team member excellence, and financial profitability. He/she will organize the function in a way that enables the highest level of service, provides consumers with engaging product, and facilitates a rewarding environment for the staff to deliver great service to customers.
He/she will ensure that the right quantities of product are in the right place at the right time. He/she will work closely with global/local supply chains to provide future volume forecasts and product allocations. He/she will utilize weeks of supply and sell-through analysis to inform replenishment of product to retail and bar spaces. He/she is responsible for developing retail supply chain procedures to ensure strong in-stocks and inventory performance.
He/she will lead process improvement and technology projects that improve retail staff execution and enhance the shopping experience and serve as the first point of contact for support escalation points from the retail stores and brand homes. Will also lead multi-channel developments (i.e. eCommerce).
He/she will work closely with teams of Johnnie Walker and malt brand ambassadors, experts, consultants, and staff. He/she will ensure the retail stores are in-stock and the store teams have what the product they need to achieve set goals. 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.
Pre-Opening and On-Going Responsibilities
Qualifications and Experience required