From here to Quinternity

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

“This is not a Trinity project, it’s a Quaternity. Heathrow as the airport, Chanel as the brand, Dufry as the retailer and the fourth part, which is often overlooked, is the ooh media operator, JCDecaux. We have four companies coming together to produce what I think is a fabulous activation.”

The words of Heathrow Airport Retail & Property Director Fraser Brown struck home to me the other day when I saw his observation on the brilliant collaboration between the airport, French luxury house Chanel, Dufry and ooh media specialists JCDecaux to unveil the spectacular Chanel N°5 Spaceship activation in the Departures Lounge of Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

The interactive, immersive and engaging pop-up was launched to welcome the festive season and celebrate the landmark 100th anniversary of the Chanel N°5 fragrance.

I am to credit – or to blame depending on which way you look at it – for introducing the term ‘Trinity’ to the travel retail community. It dates back to the first Trinity Forum in 2003, a seminal event in our industry’s history, an idea as much it was an event, one based on a premise that enhanced mutual understanding between three key sector stakeholders – airport, retailer and brand – would lead to a bigger cake and therefore bigger slices for all, as well as a sweeter treat for the travelling consumer.

The Quaternity gathers at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 for a successful launch

The merits or otherwise of the Trinity concept have been debated many times down the years, not just at the annual Trinity Forum but also behind the scenes. And whatever one’s views, there is no doubt that the term Trinity is now both an entrenched part of our industry’s parlance (the term can be found 1,785 times on our website) and of its thinking.

Memories of Shanghai in 2018…
… and Doha in 2019. The Trinity Forum will return in 2022 after an enforced two-year absence due to the pandemic. Watch this space.

In recent years there have been numerous calls for Trinity to be renamed Quaternity, with the fourth player being the airline. In which case, would Fraser’s Quaternity become a Quinternity? I’m afraid not. No matter how many google pages I scoured Quinternity did not make a single entrance. Quintet does. And Pentad. But the Quintet Forum or the Pentad Forum? Doesn’t quite trip off the tongue does it?

But I’ve got something that does and it offers the perfect accompaniment whatever my ultimate choice of terminology.

The Dalmore Ensemble Collection, a finalist in the 2020 QDF Factor at the 2020 Virtual Travel Retail Expo, celebrates The Dalmore’s cask creation through three expressions: The Trio, The Quartet and The Quintet, which offer a three, four and five-cask finish respectively. The collection’s launch is backed by a superbly innovative omnichannel campaign, which includes matching each malt with (beautiful) bespoke music composed exclusively by Misha Mullov-Abbado for the collection plus the most lovely tailored illustrations by Joanna Layla.

Click on the image to hear the beautiful work of Misha Mullov-Abbado on the World Duty Free website

For an interview I did recently with Whyte & Mackay Travel Retail Director Richard Trimby and Whyte & Mackay Head of Marketing Global Travel Retail & Emerging Markets Clarisse Daniels, I tasted all three.

I’ll save my full tasting notes for the follow-up piece we’re about to publish with Richard and Clarisse, suffice to say for now that each of the whiskies lives up to The Dalmore’s illustrious heritage. The Trio is all soft spices, like Christmas cake on the nose with a marvellous soft balance on the palate; the Quartet, richer, deeper (I love the brand’s own description – ‘A symphony of red grapes and succulent raisins shot through with whispers of chocolate and liquorice) – and the Quintet a glorious blast of rich fruit and treacle, with a treasure trove of flavours and a finish that just never lets up.

The Trio, The Quartet or The Quintet? For me, there’s no winner, all are great whiskies and I would make my choice based on my mood, the occasion or the company. The same thing goes, I think, for the Trinity v Quaternity v Quinternity (sorry, I don’t care what the dictionaries say, I am going to create that word) debate. Choose the one that’s right for the occasion but all have merit if they deliver us a better, more collaborative industry. From Here to Quinternity offers all the choice in the world.

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