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Record-breaking year for Roederer

Champagne Louis Roederer had a record year of sales in 2011 thanks to its distribution network and market positioning.

Speaking to the drinks business, Charles Fournier, export manager for the house, said that sales hit 3.7 million bottles last year – a new record.

He explained that when the economic crisis hit in 2008, Roederer took the opportunity to expand its distribution network to nearly 30 new markets, bringing its total to 98.

“As we can see it has paid off,” said Fournier. “We have seen a real boom. China and Dubai are moving quite fast, we can definitely say that the US is recovering and Russia has big potential.

“Thanks to the story of the Russian court and Louis Roederer, we want to come back strongly into this market.

“We’re very optimistic for 2012 too,” he continued. “We have good wines – we trust our product – and a strong distribution network.

“Also the new markets are not at full capacity yet, they’re still taking off. They’re motivated, dynamic markets and they want to show us that they can work and be successful.”

Fournier also said that Roederer had been practising what he called “selective distribution”, focusing on high-end accounts, particularly in the on-trade.

He mentioned the Champagne’s place as the pouring wine at the Savoy, Four Seasons and Hakkasan.

Furthermore, he described how there was a “gentleman’s agreement” with franchises such as the Four Seasons and Hakkasan. This works on the understanding that as Roederer is the house Champagne in the Four Seasons’ 35 hotels in the US, the partnership will therefore be continued at the Four Seasons around the world as well.

In the UK too, James Samson, UK brand manager of Louis Roederer, said that 2011 was the “best year for volume and value”.

Explaining why, he said: “We worked closely with our on-trade accounts and our wholesaler’s end consumers and because the quality of the Champagne is on the up.

“It was about being aware of opportunities and being in the right position to react to them.”

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