Respected industry veterans Barry Geoghegan and Severino Pusic have joined forces to create a new specialized wines and spirits distribution company with the reach and relationships to cover the entire duty free world with a consolidated supply of premium wines and spirits.
The new company, Duty Free Global (DFG), which combines the duty free operations of the SEVA Group (currently run by Laura Klingeman) and Geoghegan’s Travel Retail Brands, officially began operating on April 1 with offices in three countries in Europe and regional warehouses on three continents.
Co-owner and Commercial Director Geoghegan, who will focus on the Middle East and Asia for DFG out of his Ireland office, is well-known throughout the industry from his appearances at all the trade shows and his wine expertise. He started in the wine industry in 1989 and was one of only ten people in the world to study for the first ever Wine MBA in Bordeaux Business School.
“DFG will provide brand owners a route to market on a global platform with specialists in different regions working with local partners. We have created a genuine route to market on a global context. There is probably nobody else that goes to every single trade show. We are unique in that we have listings in all the key regions in the world.
“Out of the top 25 operators in the world we deal with 23 on a regular basis. Basically, we are a genuine solution in terms of route to market for any aspiring brand owner who has duty free as a key target,” Geoghegan tells TMI.
“DFG is a one-source global distributor that offers expertise and resources to develop and represent a carefully selected portfolio of outstanding brands in global Travel Retail and Duty Free. This is accomplished by providing an excellent logistical platform and an all-in consolidation solution to service world-wide international travel retail operators,” he says.
Geoghegan’s Travel Retail Brands had about 80% of its business in wines, while the SEVA Group had a spirits background. The new combined company will have a balance with wines and forward.
“For wines we are working with Taylors wines from Australia and Craggy Range from New Zealand. From France we will continue to build Paul Sapin’s strong wine footprint globally. These wines are currently in DFS, Dubai Duty Free, King Power Thailand, Lotte, Shilla in South Korea, Belgium Sky Shops etc.,” says Geoghegan.
“We have just made an agreement to represent the superb portfolio of Les Grands Chais De France in the Asia Pacific duty free channel. This is France’s number one global exporter. This portfolio will include some really exciting duty free exclusives while also accessing their superb contacts and ownership at the super premium high end of the wine market.”
Geoghegan stresses that the portfolio comprises all family-owned companies which understand the needs of the duty free channel.
DFG’s spirits portfolio includes the world’s fastest growing vodka, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, in Europe and Asia, and, on a global basis, Fraternity Spirits’ Tequila Corralejo El Ron Prohibido. The Vermouths of Riserva Carlo Alberto on a global basis, and the Babco portfolio including Agwa de Bolivia round out the portfolio at this time, although DFG is currently finalizing agreements with some other top international spirits brands, says Geoghegan.
COO Laura Klingeman, with her Master’s Degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, will cover the Americas for DFG out of the Netherlands.
“The company is offering its services on a global level, but we will also have regional expertise. I will have the left side of the world,” she tells TMI. “Our main focus is to build a long-term relationship with our partners, whether they are suppliers or customers. Our goal is to provide the best strategies, merchandising, brand visibility, promotional activities, sales reports, forecasting, product trainings and services.”
SEVA’s Severino Pusic will also be co-owner and director of DFG.
Nathalie Roelands will be DFG’s key European point of contact as Sales Manager for the European market. Nathalie has many years’ experience in the channel and has built up a very strong customer base over the years.
The company has also created a Millennial Marketing Managers position in Alexsander Miletic who will help create some exciting activations for DFG’s operator partners.
“We want to help our GTR operator partners find ways and brands that will increase the penetration rates in their stores by attracting ‘new consumers’ to our channel. This group — the Millennials — is the key,” says Geoghegan.
The DFG team has the experience and regional specialization to fully understand the requirements of its customers wherever they are in the world, says Geoghegan.
“We really value personal relationships and work very closely and openly with our trade partners.
“We have more than 50 years of experience in the international Travel Retail environment. Each member of our team is specialized in his/her different regions. This ensures that all local factors, such as ranging and culture are considered to ensure a tailored offer by region for our brand partners.”
DFG has three offices in Europe in Dublin, Ireland; Roermond, The Netherlands; and Belgrade, Serbia. The company has regional warehouse locations in Latin America in the Colon Free Zone in Panama; in Europe in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Ploce, Croatia; and soon to be opened in Asia.