Single malt whisky brand Highland Park is to open a customer experience store in Kirkwall, Orkney, set to open in early May 2019 – a first for the brand.
The store will include a gallery featuring works from local artists and brand partnerships, a private education area for the distillery’s community training programme and a retail space offering merchandise and whiskies, including some exclusive to Orkney.
Seven new members of staff have been employed ahead of the opening with an additional four members joining the team during the busy summer months.
Sustainability is high on the agenda for the shop going forward. There will be no plastic bags used on the premises and a new range of consumer merchandise is in development featuring materials crafted from reusable plastics.
Jason Craig, Global Brand Director, Highland Park, said: “We are very excited to be opening our first customer experience store in the heart of Kirkwall. We are taking over what used to be a menswear shop called Gorns which has been in business for around a hundred years, so we are proud to be continuing a long standing business in the same premises. Our aim is to create a new attraction for visitors to the area which is an extension of our award-winning distillery visitor experience.
“We know the Orkney Islands are the UK’s most popular cruise ship destination, attracting over 160 vessels into both Kirkwall and Stromness annually. We are immensely proud of our heritage and our new space will allow us to continue to meet and exceed the needs of visitors to the area and share in our rich history.”
The opening of the new Highland Park customer experience store comes hot on the heels of the Scotch Whisky Association announcing that visits to distilleries across Scotland are at an all-time high, with 1.9million visits in 2017 from tourists from all over the world as well as from across the UK.
Glasgow-based architectural firm Graven, who have previously worked on designs for Kirkwall based projects, have led the design work for the site while local building merchants Fletts has worked on the fitting of the site.