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Distell brings UK distribution in house

South Africa’s Distell has brought distribution for its brands in the UK in-house, bringing an end to contracts with three distribution companies.

Distell vineyards in Africa

The move will see all of Distell’s brands come back under the Distell umbrella from 9 January 2017, with brands including Savanna, Amarula, its wine and Scotch portfolios sold and marketed by its own team across the UK.

Distell’s wine portfolio includes Nederburg, Two Oceans and Fleur du Cap brands, while its spirits portfolio includes Scotch whisky Deanston, Ledaig, Bunnahabhain, and South African cream liqueur Amarula.

Consequently contracts with SHS, Cellar Trends and Brand Phoenix will come to an end.

Earlier this year the Distell Group, Africa’s biggest producer of wines, spirits and ciders, revealed plans to double in size by 2020, following a record 2015 festive trading period. The UK has been identified “key region” for growth, resulting in the company investing significantly in its infrastructure, both in the UK and Europe, over the past six months.

As part of the changes, Distell’s UK commercial team has also been “expanded significantly” to provide better coverage across all key trade channels, with further expansion expected next year. Its market service team has been “upskilled” and increased in size to oversee customer orders across the portfolio and throughout the UK from its base in East Kilbride, Scotland.

Joseph Walsh, commercial director at Distell UK & Ireland said the decision to bring its distribution and marketing in house reflected its confidence in the UK 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.”

Distell’s European head office is also set to move into new offices in Richmond, London from 10th October.

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