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This is not sly pop-up grog… it’s premium buy before-you-fly pop up grog !


Several major airports are hosting temporary alcohol stores – for premium before-you-fly pop up shopping.

On a bit of a tangent (before I describe those airport pop ups)… in Australia we have a term for un-licensed or bootleg liquor – that’s “sly grog”. Henry Lawson used the slang in his collected “Children of the Bush” stories, published in 1902… I found a terrific (descriptive) example – “She was a hard-looking woman – just the sort that might have kept a third-rate pub or a sly-grog shop.”* !

Hopefully travellers passing through Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (eastern China) won’t meet any hard-looking women in the House of Rémy Martin pop up installation, open now. The before-you-fly pop up store is adjacent to the main China Duty Free Group concession, offering an “elegant and experiential” introduction to the super-premium Remy Martin XO and other fine champagne cognacs. Visitors can sample flavours and aromas on the centre tasting-table laden with fruits, nuts and flowers… purchasers then personalise their bottle of Rémy Martin XO and use the gift-wrapping service. The Rémy Martin pop-up hopes to “reach and engage with millions of clients… generating significant buzz and excitement…”#

At Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris), Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail has hosted a pop up store for their champagne brand Perrier-Jouet, featuring the launch of a new Rosé bottle design and unique “HyperNature” tree installation. Travellers were given tastings of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut and encouraged to have their Polaroid photos taken (with the tree), then enter a competition to win designer earrings. If visitors bought the Grand Brut they were offered a further sample of their premium Belle Epoque Champagne @

Across at Frankfurt Airport, Moet Hennessy / Veuve Clicquot has “launched a spectacular Veuve Clicquot Limited Edition pop-up installation to mark the release of the brand’s latest… champagnes”%. This store is rather colourful… half of it painted pink (as in Veuve Clicquot Rosé) and the other half matching their Yellow Label champagne labels. Amongst bottles of champagne and limited-edition package options are loads of themed merchandise items – tote bags and sunglasses, umbrellas and boots, Happy Socks and skateboards…. (all available to purchase). Social media and technology play a role too – with staff on hand to photograph (and upload to Instagram) the pop up experience, and a food / champagne pairing app on iPad.

Closer to home, Rémy Cointreau Travel Retail recently opened a before-you-fly pop up bar at Sydney Airport, featuring premium The Botanist gin – also offering visitors a sensory experience with their range of “22 hand-foraged botanicals from the Scottish island of Islay” (signature ingredients of the gin…) and 5 more Sydney plants, to add a local twist in the tastings. As part of the promotion, purchasers were given a set of branded tumblers to use for their G&T’s…^ (enjoyed at home, or during their flight… ?)

BTW – I’m not suggesting any of those pop up installations are un-licensed, bootleg or sly…

And while we’re looking at installations for “travellers”, a UK shopping centre has just hosted a Departure Lounge pop up… focused on death and dying. Hmm. The shop in Lewisham featured “piles of suitcases and posters of sunny beaches… (but it’s about) the one-way trip we’re all destined to take one day”+ The pop up aimed to “demystify death and get us talking about a topic often seen as taboo” – by relating stories of people’s experiences, statistics, advice and scientific facts. It seems there was no Insta / selfie wall at this before-you-fly pop up store !

Hopefully there’s also no “hard-looking woman” waiting at the end of these traveller’s journeys – flights or otherwise (although that’s probably where a good swig of premium cognac, champagne and/or gin… might help…)


* source : / sly-grog

# source : / House of Remy Martin pop-up

@ source : / Perrier Jouet HyperNature pop-up

% source : / eye-catching Veuve Clicquot pop-up at Frankfurt Airport

^ source : / The Botanist inspires travellers to explore

+ source : / London / pop-up shop is getting us to talk about death and dying



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