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Friday, October 04, 2013

World's First Absolut Brand Store Opens at KLIA, Malaysia

Last Friday on the 27th of September 2013 turns out to be quite the 'Absolut' day for me.

It started off with a ride on the KLIA Express from KL Sentral down to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA for short) for the opening of the world's first Absolut brand store at the world class airport.
The Absolut brand experience in Malaysia has seen a symbolic rise since the introduction of Absolut Hibiskus on Merdeka Day. There were 3 Absolut Hibiskus Celebration Parties that were held from Merdeka eve onwards whereby the Grand Finale was held later in the night during this day of the Absolut Brand Store opening.
The Absolut Brand Store was conceptualized and developed by Pernod Ricard Asia Travel Retail and Absolut and the launch of the store was made possible together with Malaysia Airports (Niaga) Sdn Bhd and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.

Con Constandis, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard Asia Travel Retail said,"The launch of the Absolut Brand Store is a key step for us and one which reflects our aim to deliver engaging experiential experiences to travellers. Pernod Ricard Asia Travel Retail intends to effectively communicate the commercial strengths and potential opportunities this initiative provides, whilst amplifying the launch of a dedicated Malaysian flavour in the Absolut Hibiskus, which is relevant to this important local market in Asia Travel Retail.
The Absolut Brand Store is located at Contact Pier Zone F, Shop R26, KLIA Main Terminal Building, and visitors should not miss the revolutionary store decked out in cobalt blue and glass, with intricate designs and patterns to reflect the innovation and creativity of the Absolut brand experience. Customers will be met by an Absolut host who will invite them to taste a range of Absolut Hibiskus cocktails from the store’s bespoke bar. At the bar, there sits a tablet where customers can vote which 1 of the 5 cocktails (Absolut Calamansi, Absolut Ginger Lime, Absolut Chili, Absolut Pom-Rose and Absolut Tropical Passion) made with Absolut Hibiskus best represents Malaysia. Personally, I like the Pom-Rose the most. :)
According to Henrik Ohlstenius, Global Travel Retail Area Director of The Absolut
Company, the opening of the Absolut Brand Store is a significant milestone in
Absolut’s history, and paves the way for the future of the company. “Absolut chose
Malaysia to open the world’s first Absolut Brand Store as we have a strong market in the
region and we wanted to give our customers a different and progressive brand experience.
In fact, this Absolut Brand Store in KLIA is the only other place in the world where you
can find all our Absolut flavors under one roof. The other place is our warehouse located
in Ă…hus, southern Sweden
.”
Henrik Ohlstenius, Fawzy Ahmad, Pierre Coppere (Chairman & CEO of Pernod Ricard Asia) & Con Constandis after the 'ribbon' cutting ceremony.

Fawzy Ahmad, General Manager, Malaysia Airports (Niaga) Sdn. Bhd (ERAMAN) added
that “The collaboration with Pernod Ricard Asia Travel Retail is an important initiative in the
quest to create next generation shopping arenas in the global duty free/travel retail markets
and combines intense and exciting shopping experiences with increased sales prospects.
We believe that the opening of this new store today will further increase visitors to the
commercial areas of KLIA and provide both Malaysians and visitors a different brand
experience for the retail lots at KLIA
.”
Fawzy Ahmad receiving a token of appreciation
There's also a storefront giant screen that displays real-time updates of customers ordering Absolut cocktails around the world through the drinkspiration app:
For added consumer engagement at the Absolut Brand Store, mixology classes are
available for a selected number of store guests. These hands-on classes will bring the
Absolut brand to life and educate customers on the premium nature of Absolut and the
versatility of mixing this white spirit in high-end cocktails. A body artist will also be in-store
during October, decorating travelers’ hands with an air-brushed washable tattoo of a
hibiscus flower – a symbolic homage to the Absolut Hibiskus.

After the launch, as mentioned, later that night after some freshening up at home, I attended the Absolut Hibiskus Grand Finale Celebration Party at View Rooftop Bar. This will be in another blog post.

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