Distell set to expand UK business to drive growth

South African producer Distell has identified the UK as a key region for growth and is expanding its British team, setting up a new head office in Richmond and bringing all its brand distribution in house.

It is ending long-standing third party distribution deals with SHS, Cellar Trends and Brand Phoenix and will now offer all its drinks to the retail trade first-hand.

That means Savanna cider, Amarula cream liqueur and all its South African wines will sit alongside its Scotch whiskies in its distribution portfolio.

It has expanded its UK commercial team to target all sectors of the UK trade and increased the footprint of its market service team.

The changes will become effective from January 9. Distell's European head office is also moving into new, modern offices in Richmond, London, from October 10.

Joseph Walsh, commercial director at Distell UK & Ireland, said: “The decision to bring all our brands back under the Distell umbrella means that from January 9, 2017, Savanna, Amarula, our wine and Scotch portfolios will be sold and marketed by our own team across the UK. This has been an extremely detailed and considered process and it reflects our confidence in the UK market and we look forward to strengthening our relationships in the UK trade as we look to drive value for the trade and consumers in the market.

“We have worked closely with all of our distribution agencies to implement a smooth and well executed transition. Each partner has helped grow our UK market share over a number of years and has shared our passion for our brands. We have enjoyed a very successful partnership with each of them and this is a strategic global decision, which is amicable with all parties and should not be perceived in any negative way for us to exit these relationships. 

“We will continue to work together over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth integration for all of our mutual customers’ benefit. We would like to thank SHS, Cellar Trends and Brand Phoenix for their invaluable support, passion and commitment as brand custodians over the years and wish them every success for the future.”

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