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The Irish Whiskey Collection wins Retail Oscar

The Irish Whiskey Collection in Dublin Airport’s T2 has scored a major victory at the Frontier Awards in Cannes – the Oscars of the travel retail industry.

The whiskey outlet won the Speciality Concept of the Year award, ahead of worldwide competition, at the awards ceremony in the French resort last night.

The win is a major honour for DAA and ARI retail and a huge international prestige boost for both T2 and the Irish Whiskey Collection itself.

The award was accepted, on behalf of the DAA, by Retail Director Paul Neeson and Head of Retail Gerry Crawford.  Also present was the recently appointed chief executive of ARI, Jack MacGowan.

Speaking from Cannes today, Gerry Crawford described the win as “a huge moment” for everybody involved.

He described it as a tangible recognition of all the work which has been done over the last two and a half years in developing and delivering The Loop.

“Of course, the most important recognition is the one we get from our customers. And a 33% increase in sales in the last year is testament to that.”

“But it’s nice to get international recognition from your peers. These are the Oscars of the industry. They’re very hard to get, very hard to win.”

He said the award was the result of a huge amount of combined work and effort by a lot of people.

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“This is a fantastic shop window for Ireland. It’s us leading from the front. It was one of our objectives from the very beginning to have something different and innovative in T2 and this was one of the key things that we did.”

The award was in fact the second in 24 hours for the DAA. In Cannes on Tuesday night, Gerry was named Buyer of the Year by Drinks International, the spirits industry magazine.

In ebullient form today, he said: “We beat Australia, we won at Cannes, now for a World Cup final.”

The other category finalists at last night’s ceremony were A La Gate Carte, a US-based portable retail display concept; House of Tulips by Aviflora and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport; ERAMAN/Malaysia Airports Niaga – The Kidz Smart Tunnel; L’Oréal Luxe Travel Retail Worldwide – Travel Recharge by Biotherm; and Sekonda Watches – The Premium Stand.

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