Diageo wines to enter Retail market

Diageo, the world's largest liquor company, plans to sell its popular wine brands in the domestic retail market soon, reports C. H. Unnikrishnan in Business Standard today. It has been selling wine so far at a few duty-free shops only. It has distribution tie-ups with Flemingo, India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), Brindco and a few others to sell various wine labels at duty-free shops and the embassy channels.

The company plans to extend the existing tie-ups to retail market by paying import duty for open market sales. Its major brands in the wine segment include Barton & Gustier (B&G), BV Coastal, Blossom Hills, Justerini & Brooks, Piat d'Or and Sterling.

Earlier, Diageo had plans for exclusive distribution and marketing joint ventures with local wine companies to explore the fast growing wine market in India. There are no plans at the moment to tie up with local wine players to enter the segment, as the most suitable option now would be extending the existing channels like Flemingo and ITDC for the retail market, reports the paper quoting the company sources .

Since the company has shelved the proposal to form distribution agreements with local firms, it will offer import authorisation to its duty-free channels to cater to the retail market.

Flemingo currently operates 25 duty -free shops in the arrival and departure terminals of 12 Indian airports. It also has the license to operate duty-free shops at seaports in Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Haldia, Goa and Mumbai. It has also set up shops in smaller cities like Amritsar, Jaipur and Lucknow recently. ITDC and Brindco have similar network at the duty-free outlets.

For details, log on to http://www.business-standard.com

Subhash Arora

September 14, 2006





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