The newest visitor attraction on Princes Street is in the former Binns building at the West End. It has eight floors of whisky for you to taste and buy in an “experiential shopping experience”.
The store will be on the ground floor with a shop frontage to Princes Street and Hope Street. Passing by it is clear that a good deal of progress has been made recently and the experience is set to open this summer. But there is more than just a shop to buy whisky and branded clothing. There will be a bar on the roof with one of the best views in town.
Offering limited edition bottlings, exclusive liquids, merchandise and a personalisation custom studio, the space goes beyond traditional retail, using visual theatre and storytelling to take shoppers on an immersive journey into the world of Johnnie Walker and whisky.
Welcoming walk-in high street customers as well as visitors who take a tour of the whisky experience, shoppers can customise their bottles with engraving and bespoke label printing services at the personalisation area. Guests will also be able to bottle their own exclusive liquid only available at the Edinburgh shop.
The experiential store caters to whisky connoisseurs and novices alike, with staff on hand to give expert advice as well as a unique interactive flavour activity which matches customer’s preferred tastes and scents to their perfect whisky profile. Enthusiasts can explore and shop an incredible range of rare and exceptional whiskies as part of its whisky treasure chamber, featuring bottlings from Johnnie Walker’s Four Corner distilleries – Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish – as well as Diageo’s wide range of whiskies.
Greg Klingaman, Diageo’s Global Retail Director, said: “At Johnnie Walker Princes Street, we want our visitors to begin their immersive storytelling experience from the moment they walk through our doors. Our whisky emporium will be the first and last point of their journey with us, which is why we’ve taken so much care and attention to the design of the space. This is whisky retail like you’ve never seen it before, and we can’t wait to share it with our visitors once we open the doors.”
The building at the heart of Edinburgh city centre which Johnnie Walker Princes Street now calls home, has housed retail for almost 100 years, such as department stores Binns and House of Frasers, and the famous corner’s retail legacy will continue through the whisky emporium.
As part of the new whisky attraction, Johnnie Walker also welcomes new retail manager Alan Thomlinson, who’ll bring his 25-year management experience from House of Fraser’s Jenners and West End stores to the modern establishment.
Alan said: “The concept for the Johnnie Walker Princes Street whisky emporium is exactly what Edinburgh and the high street needs, that brings together a world-class shopping experience in an experiential format, and I’m ecstatic to be coming on board as the retail manager for this incredible space.”
Johnnie Walker Princes Street will take visitors on a journey through the brand’s iconic history as well as featuring modern sensory tasting rooms, personalised tour and tasting experiences, live performance areas and rooftop bars.