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New team makes a difference for Stoli in US

SPI Group (owned by Yuri Shefler) brand owner of globally successful Stolichnaya Premium vodka (Stoli) which includes Stolichnaya Premium flavoured vodka and ultra-luxury Elit by Stolichnaya, reports “very positive results” for its Americas business in the last six months since the company took domestic distribution in house and appointed Chase International as its distributor for the US duty free/travel retail business.

Says SPI’s global commercial director - International Rob Cullins: “Chase International was an obvious choice to expand our presence and visibility within the US travel retail sector; the company’s experience in and understanding of the business in the US is without precedent. It has quickly proved to be the right choice; Chase understands the brand and the results are already paying off notably in international airports.”

The appointment of Chase International is an important element of SPI’s decision to take greater ownership of the Stolichnaya brand within the US – in both domestic and travel retail, with a target of being in the Top 10 US International airports along with cruise-ships and border stores North and South.

“Since September 2013 we’ve significantly invested in resources to ensure the brand’s forward momentum and growth,” continues Cullins. “Including focussed programs of price promotions, tastings and staff incentives and of course the appointment of John Karem as North American duty free director.”

Says John Karem: “Chase is very much the lynch-pin between SPI and retailers, presenting the brand and implementing programs designed to suit the specific customer profile. Specifically, the customers and consumers vary across the different segments. What works in the airports is not necessarily what works at the border stores. Different customers and consumers with different needs require a tailored approach to product offerings and pricing strategy. Getting this right is critical to success.”
Adds Chase International president Chase Donaldson: “It’s been a busy half year for Chase and we’re delighted with the initial response from retailers to our marketing efforts for the Stolichnaya portfolio. Stoli is not only a global brand, it’s also one of the most innovative and original vodkas in the market place today with its limited editions, exclusives and strategic support program. It’s going to be a great year for Stoli in US duty free.”

Pictured left to right: Rob Cullins, Meagan Sacher (global brand ambassador, Stoli), John Karem, Jean-Philippe Aucher, Chase Donaldson

22 April 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor