The House of Suntory, the Founding House of Japanese Whisky, has opened its first ever shop-in-shop boutique in the travel retail channel, situated within Lotte Duty Free’s refurbished central duplex store at Changi Airport Terminal 3 Departure Central.

The official grand opening took place on 11 March. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by special guests including Beam Suntory President & CEO Greg Hughes; Beam Suntory President APAC and Global Commercial Excellence Masato Hayashi; Beam Suntory Managing Director Global Travel Retail Ashish Gandham; House of Suntory Fifth Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo; CAG’s Executive Vice President, Commercial Lim Peck Hoon; and Lotte Duty Free Singapore Managing Director Jeff Jeong Soongyu.

Established in 1923, last year the House of Suntory celebrated a landmark 100th anniversary of whisky innovation – a major milestone not only for Suntory’s history but also for Japanese spirit culture. Founder Shinjiro Torii’s legacy began with a dream to create an original Japanese whisky blessed with the riches of Japanese nature and mastered by Monozukuri – Japanese craftsmanship. Alongside its globally acclaimed, award-winning whisky portfolio, today Suntory is also renowned for its Roku Japanese Craft Gin and Haku Japanese Craft Vodka.

Embodying the beliefs of founder Shinjiro Torii, the House of Suntory’s first global travel retail shop-in-shop space offers an experience rooted in three pillars that channel the founder’s bold spirit of “Yatte Minahare” – ambition that dares to dream big and embrace new challenges. The design is:

Inspired by harmony with Japanese nature
Elevated by Japanese craftsmanship (Monozukuri)
Conceived to be enjoyed as an authentic Japanese cultural experience (Omotenashi)

Kigumi – the traditional Japanese craft of jointing wood – is a key design feature of the space. A floor-to-ceiling Kigumi wooden lattice structure showcases the House of Suntory’s full portfolio, including rare, aged luxury whisky expressions from Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki.

The main circular digital display screen was inspired by the rounded windows of traditional Japanese architecture. Known as Marumado or Yoshinomado, these are usually created to provide a beautiful view, typically of a garden or outside space. This interactive digital screen allows boutique visitors to learn more about selected Suntory expressions. When it is not in use, it displays the seasons and images of Japan’s beautiful landscape.

 

Designed to evoke a Japanese Zen Garden, the central table serves as a display, sampling and gifting area. The shop-in-shop features exclusive tasting sessions for guests to sample Suntory’s extensive portfolio of both regular and new expressions.

Later in the year, the boutique will provide an exclusive ‘The Art of Japanese Gifting’ experience. Specialist Brand Ambassadors will offer a range of extensive personalisation options for in-store purchases, including detachable charms, hand-written gift cards and bespoke gift bags.

“This trailblazing shop-in-shop boutique spotlights our exceptional Japanese whisky and premium white spirits portfolio, within a truly unique retail space that embodies “The Nature and Spirit of Japan”, noted Beam Suntory Global Travel Retail Managing Director Ashish Gandham.

“This boutique opening is a fitting way to begin the next chapter of the House of Suntory success story, and further demonstrates our commitment to delivering unique and elevated shopping experiences for our retail partners and our travelling consumers.”

“This new boutique – a world-first – is yet another milestone for the House of Suntory in travel retail,” noted Beam Suntory Brand Marketing Director Global Travel Retail Manuel Gonzalez.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Lotte Duty Free on this exciting new accomplishment, which immerses travellers in the heritage and whisky-making legacy of Suntory, while inviting them to learn more about the different elements that make it so very special.”

“This landmark design for global travel retail is a testament to our commitment to marrying tradition and innovation,” commented The House of Suntory Managing Director Jon Potter. “Every element, from the Kigumi lattice to the Marumado-inspired display, reflects the dedication to exquisite craftsmanship that defines The House of Suntory.

“The shop-in-shop will showcase The House of Suntory’s renowned portfolio of whiskies in an immersive environment, inviting travellers to experience the true essence of our brand. We’re thrilled to see the inception of this boutique-style concept be a part of our evolution in global travel retail, and we look forward to seeing more innovative design concepts emerge in the coming years.”

 

HOS new GTR-exclusive Yamazaki and Hakushu Kogei collection

The opening ceremony of the new shop-in-shop boutique included a special preview of The House of Suntory’s new global travel retail exclusive Yamazaki and Hakushu Kogei collection. An introduction to the range and guided tasting session were led by House of Suntory Fifth Generation Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo and House of Suntory GTR Brand Manager Byrant Lim.

The word ‘Kogei’ can be translated as ‘traditional Japanese craftsmanship’. Accordingly, this collection – featuring whisky from the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries – explores the traditional crafts of Japan through selected artisan partnerships.

The debut 2024 Japanese Kimono Edition was created in collaboration with Kyoto’s most renowned Kyo-Yuzen Kimono House, Chiso, who have been crafting the finest Japanese kimonos since 1555. The house is known for its timeless patterns, which take shape through new colours and motifs, to become a composition of both old tradition and new techniques.

In line with Suntory’s Kogei vision, Chiso’s pattern-makers used the traditional method of Bokashi-zome (gradation dyeing) to embody the distinctive story of the Yamazaki and Hakushu whisky, on both the washi bottle labels and the outer packaging gift box, fusing elegant colours with delicate gold accents.

The 2024 Kogei Collection comprises two whiskies: the Yamazaki Peated Malt Spanish Oak and the Hakushu Peated Malt Spanish Oak. Both will be launched officially into selected airport doors worldwide including Singapore Changi Airport from 1 April 2024. More details will be released in the coming weeks.