“Sleeping Giant” Gruppo Campari brings new focus to Americas

Gruppo-Campari-logoGruppo Campari has signaled the growing importance of its travel retail business by bringing in some familiar faces in both global and regional roles.

First, Leigh Irvine, formerly Americas Regional Director with Bacardi Global Travel Retail, was hired as Gruppo Campari’s Gobal Travel Retail Director last year. In April Irvine brought in Diego Lord, who spent the past four years as Bacardi’s Travel Retail Manager in South America, as Gruppo Campari’s Travel Retail America Director.

Lord’s hiring demonstrates a significant investment by Gruppo Campari in the future of its brands in the Americas.

Diego Lord

Diego Lord 

“We have also been working on things behind the scenes, with investments in new route to market solutions as well as a commitment to more in market customer facing resources. With this new set up and team we will be able to focus on our customers and the opportunities which are there for our brands,” Lord tells TMI.

Lord sees enormous potential for Gruppo Campari Travel Retail in the region.

“Gruppo Campari (We) sees it as ‘sleeping giant’ and we have been putting in a lot of effort behind the scenes to get ready to wake him up! We see great opportunity for the brands in travel retail across the whole region and across all the channels. Our portfolio of brands are performing exceptionally well in the local domestic markets, so it is time to reflect and support that success in travel retail,” he says.

The Americas was Gruppo Campari’s largest region with 42.3% of its global sales in fiscal year 2015. The U.S. makes up a majority of those sales (22.1%), followed by Jamaica (5.9%), Brazil (4.2%), Argentina (3.1%), and Canada (2.9%). Italy is still Gruppo Campari’s most important market with more than a quarter of its sales.

While Lord has only been with Gruppo Campari a few short months, he says it has been a great year so far, although Brazil’s dramatic slowdown has certainly negatively impacted Gruppo Campari’s business in the region.

“After nearly a decade of solid economic growth, the speed with which the economy has fallen is staggering. High inflation, dwindling consumer confidence, lower domestic consumption and falling industrial investment were contributing factors. Brazilian travelers are renowned big spenders when they travel but exchange rate volatility has affected their purchasing behavior and the knock-on effect is seen throughout the continent so we believe it is extremely important to be next to our customers, support them and understand the consumer reality,” he says.

 “As we look forward, we see only more exceptional opportunities for brands – Campari, Aperol, Wild Turkey, Appleton, Glen Grant Cinzano and Bull Dog – and to collaborate closely with our domestic market in celebrating the uniquely Brazilian rhythm of the summer Olympics.

“The entire portfolio is having a great year so far. And the recent acquisition of Grand Marnier will only add to this success given its strength in the region, particularly with the North American consumer. We are really excited to have another great global brand to develop.”