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Diageo's latest Johnnie Walker House in China is to share space with the company's baijiu brand, Shuijingfang.

Diageo was forced into a write-down on the Shuijingfang brand in 2014

Diageo was forced into a write-down on the Shuijingfang brand in 2014

The Travel Retail outlet in Beijing's main airport will showcase a selection of exclusive Johnnie Walker Scotch blends as well as Shuijingfang. It will also include an "engagement zone" where consumers can interact with the ingredients that make up the premium white spirit.

The move comes as baijiu appears to be recovering from a slump in demand in the wake of government anti-extravagance measures. The fall hit all premium baijiu products, however Shuijingfang, in which Diageo holds a minority stake, was hit especially hard and two years ago the company was forced to take a GBP264m (then-US$446m) write-down. However, in full year results released in July, the brand returned to profit.

Other baijiu producers have also reported resurgent sales and yesterday Pernod Ricard's CFO, Gilles Bogaert, welcomed the growth, saying it signalled the return of premium spirits consumption among Chinese consumers.

Today, Diageo said the "collaborative platform" at Beijing airport will help travellers that are "looking for innovative luxury shopping experiences that both educate and inspire them". It is Diageo's second Johnnie Walker House in Beijing following the 2012 opening of one near Tiannanmen Square.

Also today, Diageo announced it was opening two more Johnnie Walker Houses in Seoul's Incheon International Airport. There are now 15 Johnnie Walker Houses in global Travel Retail and five in the domestic channel.

In May, Diageo opened its first European Johnnie Walker House, in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Diageo, Johnnie Walker

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