Monday, January 30, 2012

Southern Moves Quickly To Gain Spirits Footprint In Newly Privatized Washington

(by Shanken News Daily) With Washington state voting to privatize liquor retailing and distributing in last November’s referendum, Southern Wine & Spirits has taken a major step in establishing a spirits portfolio in the market. Earlier today, Southern was tapped by Pernod Ricard USA as its exclusive distributor in Washington, effective March 1. Southern previously acted as broker for Pernod in the state.

Southern is closely aligned with Pernod Ricard, handling the company’s brands in 28 markets across the country, which account for 57% of Pernod’s total U.S. business. Pernod’s next-biggest distribution partner is RNDC, which handles 17% of the total Pernod business.

This latest Southern-Pernod accord comes just days after Southern moved to gain greater control of its operations in Washington by acquiring the balance of Southern/Odom Corp., its Pacific Northwest venture with The Odom Corporation.

Earlier this month, Southern agreed to handle Sidney Frank Importing Co.’s portfolio in Washington (also effective March 1), and the distributor also recently formed alliances with Campari America and Beam Inc. in the state. With these agreements, Southern will have five of the U.S. market’s top 15 spirits brands—Absolut, Jim Beam, Skyy, Jägermeister and Seagram’s Gin—in its stable. And it’s highly likely that Southern is working to partner with more key suppliers in Washington as privatization becomes fully implemented.

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