Edrington Americas Travel Retail (AMTR) has announced that it will cease distribution of third-party brands in a move to focus on growing its portfolio of wholly-owned super-premium brands. Effective September 30, Edrington AMTR will no longer distribute Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Illva Saronno brands. Edrington’s distribution agreement with Sazerac will end on December 31.
This move marks the last phase in a strategic realignment in the region which began with the acquisition of Edrington WEBB Travel Retail Americas, allowing the business to own its routes to market and focus on building capabilities to support its super-premium portfolio, which includes The Macallan, Highland Park, The Glenrothes and Brugal.
Juan Gentile, Managing Director Edrington Americas Travel Retail, commented: “This rationalization of our portfolio is an important step as we continue to sharpen our focus and perfect our execution in the super-premium segment. In the Americas region we are now fully aligned with the overall Edrington strategy in travel retail and well positioned to drive our premiumization agenda. We would like to thank our third-party brand partners for their support and co-operation over many successful years and wish them all the best for the future.”
Vision for future
Gentile tells TMI that Edrington’s focus on its wholly-owned super-premium brands is part of the company’s ambition to beome the world’s leading premium spirits company, as well as lead in luxury retail.
“I would say we have ‘refined’ our premiumization strategy by putting more emphasis on growing our super-premium portfolio of brands. We own some of the leading Scotch whisky and rum brands in the world, including The Macallan, Highland Park, The Glenrothes, Brugal rum and recent acquisitions Partida tequila and Wyoming whiskey. It’s an incredible portfolio, and the growth opportunities within the Americas Region are hugely linked to the super-premium spirits category growth trends,” says Gentile.
“We do have a global and recognized leading premium brand with The Macallan; our future goal is to continue premiumizing Macallan and to build the rest of our premium portfolio to a leadership position in their segments.”
Innovation disrupts category
Edrington will launch the latest innovation for The Macallan in Cannes.
“With Macallan we also have a busy innovative agenda. Following the highly successful and category disruptive launch of Concept Number 1, we continue to invest in the brand’s position as the ultimate luxury spirit with a strong pipeline of prestige and exclusive products, including Concept Number 2, which will be showcased at the TFWA Cannes show.”
Gentile says The Macallan’s luxury positioning is key to Edrington’s long-term vision for the brand.
“Our vision for Macallan is to become the ultimate luxury spirit. This is a long term vision and we have already started this journey. The investment behind Macallan’s new distillery inaugurated last year is a clear step in this direction. It is an architectural monument and a world-class destination,” says Gentile.
“Another key aspect of Macallan is its scarcity, making the brand the #1 collectable Single Malt by value. This is all underpinned by a true obsession for quality in the making of the whisky and the high-ends range of products.”
The Macallan Boutiques
Edrington’s opening of The Macallan Boutiques in key international airports, connecting travelers around the world to the brand’s home in Speyside, is another important step in the brand’s luxury evolution.
“The Macallan boutiques we have opened in selected airports is part of our long term objective to support and build the brand’s luxury credentials. These exclusive and unique environments are able to offer traveling consumers an experience in which to engage with the brand, and bring closer some of the elements of our new distillery,” says Gentile.
Edrington opened The Macallan Boutique in Heathrow Terminal 5 in July following the opening of a boutique in Dubai earlier in the year. Gentile confirms to TMI that a boutique in the Americas is imminent, with one coming to a major U.S. airport early next year.