William Grant axes 30 UK jobs in reorganisation

11th July, 2014 by Becky Paskin

William Grant & Sons has reorganised its UK distribution arm First Drinks, making a series of staff cutbacks and appointments, and renaming the body William Grant & Sons UK.

The-Balvenie

The Balvenie will be promoted to high-end bars and retailers as part of William Grant & Sons UK’s new Prestige arm

The UK-based drinks group has made 30 redundancies, mostly from its back office staff, in an effort to streamline the newly-named business.

First Drinks has been wholly owned by William Grant & Sons since 2006.

“We have reappraised our internal and external forces,” said Chris Mason, managing director of William Grant UK. “We have reduced by 30 people who have now left our business, and we were sad to see them go. We also saw the loss of four of the Rémy people who transferred across when the group left us. With change of business comes change of how you approach it.”

Simultaneously, the group has also made 22 new appointments across sales and brand manager roles, with five new positions created under its new Prestige brands department.

Led by Kirsten Grant Meikle, the great, great-granddaughter of William Grant, the Prestige arm will focus on promoting its ultra-premium portfolio to 350 key, high-end on- and off-trade accounts in London like private members’ clubs and specialist retailers.

If successful, Mason added that the model could then be replicated in overseas markets, like New York and Paris.

William-Grant-and-Sons-UK-logo

The new logo for William Grant & Sons UK, formerly First Drinks

Prestige focus

William Grant UK believes the Prestige on-trade sector “plays a huge part in influencing global trial, consumption and shopping habits and London has set itself apart as a leader in international drinks trends, with many hotels and bars aiming to be the most iconic in the capital”.

The group claims there are 620,000 millionaires in the UK, a figure which is forecast to rise 30% in the next eight years. London is the wealthiest city in the world with more billionaires than any other.

Mason also added that the group would be recruiting new brand ambassadors for The Balvenie and Glenfiddich. “Our previous ambassadors were based in Scotland but the epicentre of our business is London.,” he said. “We are close to announcing the replacements very soon.”

Dr. Andrew Forrester, brand ambassador of The Balvenie, and Jamie Milne, brand ambassador of Glenfiddich, have both left the group recently.

William Grant is not the only drinks group to have made staff cutbacks in recent months. In June Diageo was reported to be axing around 200 head office and regional roles, while Pernod Ricard has hinted at job losses through its cost-cutting strategy Project Allegro.

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

Artesian features Reàl syrups in cocktails

Real Cocktail Ingredients’ Cream of Coconut and Agave flavours have gained more...

Popcorn Sutton gets packaging revamp

Popcorn Sutton Distilling has given a design overhaul to its Tennessee whiskey more...

Top 10 Scotch whisky distilleries to visit

Scotch whisky distilleries may be in the midst of a tourism boom, but which more...

Tequila & Mezcal Fest prepares to return to UK

The UK’s first and only festival dedicated to Tequila and mezcal is readying more...

The week in pictures

While Justin Timberlake promotes his Tequila on the golf course, a Royal horse more...

Plantation Rum reveals image revamp

French drinks group Cognac Ferrand has revealed a bottle redesign for its more...

The week in pictures

You'll find an eclectic mix of bitesize news snippets in our week in pictures more...

Southern Comfort launches summer campaign

Southern Comfort has launched the #TanYourLemonade summer campaign to raise more...

Bacardi and Heinemann partner for single estate rum experience

Bacardi has teamed up with Gebr. Heinemann to present Single Cane Estate Rums, more...

Caribbean rum range launches in Barbados TR

Concept store The Caribbean Rum Collection has been launched in Grantly Adams more...

Balcones to bring new whiskeys and rum to UK

Texas distillery Balcones is readying to bring a series of new whiskeys and rum more...

Diageo terminates Heineken JV in South Africa

Diageo has terminated its joint venture with Heineken and Namibia Breweries in more...

Suntory offloads Louis Royer Cognac for €100m

Japan's Suntory Holdings has sold Louis Royer Cognac to French spirits producer more...

Bacardi rum creates new global VP role

Bacardi has promoted Fabio Di Giammarco to the new role of global vice more...

Fatal distillery explosion due to still pressure

A massive explosion at Kentucky’s Silver Trail Distillery which killed one more...

Diageo Scotch expansion plans still on ice

As Diageo reveals sales of its Scotch portfolio plummeted 9% in 2014/15, the more...

Master of Malt launches DIY cocktail ageing kits

Master of Malt has expanded its range of DIY spirits ageing kits to include one more...

Fire delays opening of Old Forester Distillery

A fire that raged across Whiskey Row in Kentucky earlier this month has caused more...

Are modern cocktail menus too long?

There is more interest in the world's cocktail industry than ever before, but more...

Courvoisier launches luxury scented gift packs

Maxxium UK is releasing two limited edition Courvoisier Cognac gift packs more...