QD: Great point. You are right, presentation is everything for our products! We have around 20 SKUs, this includes gift boxes with glassware, a cigar themed set, a bourbon barrel-aged coffee with rocks gift set, trivia quiz set and more…
At the moment, in airport settings, the gift sets have been placed on top of the whiskies/rhums shelfs and around. However, we are working on unveiling our very first retail displays to improve the shopping experience.
First, we are developing a retail display for our best-seller, the original rocks. We will be able to show the first concept at the Cannes trade show actually, so come visit us at blue village E4 !
This will help retailers to showcase the whisky stones and place us next to whiskies for impulse buys and bundles.
Then, for larger gift sets, we are working on developing a full promotion stand with a broader concept focused on gifting where our beautiful gold foil gift boxes can be showcased. Communicating on our unique selling points in those retail spaces will be key for airport locations but we want to make it easy to deploy and experiment. We also seek to work in collaboration with the operators to explore together creative ways to activate the brand in the shops.
PM: You are also selling into the domestic market? How is the product performing there?
QD: We’re in 35+ countries actually! Main markets are the USA, Europe and the UK. We import, store and fulfill products from there directly ourselves so we have a global logistics infrastructure to service our largest markets. However, we’re also present in Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, Singapore, Fiji, Mauritius Islands and more – mostly through distributors or independent retailers that wanted to import our products.
We have a strong background in e-commerce like I shared earlier but we aim to continue growing our wholesale client base of smaller retailers, especially wine and spirits shops through the USA and Europe.
Another excellent channel for us has been the corporate gifting world. We work with many of the leading gifting platforms that service the likes of major fortune 500 companies and their gifting needs. For example: employee recognition programs, rewarding sales teams, perks etc. There is a great fit with this much larger audience and our ready to gift items are a great match, even without any personalisation added.
PM: So what are your next steps – other than expanding your distribution base in global TR?! Might this involve a joint promotion with a well-known whisk(e)y brand?
QD: Although we are 100% focused on travel retail for the foreseeable future, considering our market fit and initial results, we are interested in developing business in new countries – especially in regions we haven’t yet reached, like the UAE, LATAM or South East Asia.
A very exciting project for us will be to start introducing limited editions and exclusive series in the future. We seek to keep our shoppers engaged over time with relevant gifting designs and concepts for the rocks.
As for joint promotions and collaborations, we would love to work with distilleries and spirit brands to create co-branding projects and/or support their gifting ideas in partnership with our ROCKS. It’s been in my mind for a long time to be honest and I think we are now ready to approach these projects the right way.