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Beam Suntory appoints GM as GTR model evolves

Maker’s Mark owner Beam Suntory has named Phil Restall general manager of travel retail as the firm overhauls its operating model in the channel.

Phil Restall will become Beam Suntory’s general manager of travel retail next month

Restall, the current commercial director for Beam Suntory’s Australian arm, will move to the new position in October. He will report to John Rosair, managing director, Asia Pacific and global travel retail (GTR).

“We are delighted to welcome Phil Restall to the GTR team this year, as we strive to support our customers during this unprecedented time,” said Rosair.

“The evolved structure and increased resources for Beam Suntory’s GTR team will revolutionise how we service customers, putting them firmly at the centre of everything we do.

“We recognise there are differences between emerging and global accounts, meaning there is an absolute need to establish the right structure and processes to support their models.”

The appointment of Restall will wrap up the transformation of Beam Suntory’s GTR operation model and ensure the delivery of an innovation pipeline, the company said.

“I am delighted to be stepping into my new role at such a pivotal time for the business,” said Restall. “Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the GTR industry, Beam Suntory remains confident in the future of this important channel and we are committed to partnering with our customers for a fast recovery.

“I very much look forward to working with the team to demonstrate to our partners our vision for long-term growth and evolution for our GTR business.”

Richard Warrington will relocate to Sydney from the UK to take over Restall’s position of commercial director for Australia next month. Warrington joined Beam Suntory in 2017 and has played a vital role in building partnerships with GTR customers, the firm said. Beam Suntory GTR will soon begin the recruitment process to replace Warrington’s current role as global key accounts director.

Operational changes

The new operational model for GTR will help the company “become the recognised industry leader for showcasing brands, partnering with customers, and driving mutually beneficial growth during the Covid-19 recovery period and beyond”, Beam Suntory said.

The Beam Suntory GTR business will be made up of three operating groups: global accounts, emerging markets and a centralised marketing team. The new model will allow the company to provide enhanced support to its retail partners and bring a more shopper-centric approach to building brands.

The global accounts team will be led by sales director global accounts, Simon Knapp, who will provide comprehensive support to customers, including Heinemann, Dufry, Lagardère, and Aer Rianta.

The emerging markets team, managed by sales director, emerging markets, cruise and third party, Ashish Gandham, will support the fast-moving pace of the developing markets in travel retail, including the Americas.

The integrated marketing team will be headed up by the firm’s director of marketing Ed Stening, who joined Beam Suntory in 2018. The unit will deliver industry-leading customer and shopper experiences across the globe.

Since September 2019, Beam Suntory said it has created new roles to support the new GTR operating model. With these expanded resources, the company said it will be well placed to deliver its ambitious growth plans and provide a stronger frame for its mission to be the “premium connection to the global explorer”.

The firm has also invested in the premiumisation of its GTR portfolio with a new innovation pipeline. Earlier this year, Beam Suntory GTR launched two DFS-exclusive Bowmore 1965 Vintage Washback editions. The company also partnered with luxury car maker Aston Martin to make new products and experiences, kicking off with the launch of Black Bowmore DB5 1964 last month.

Rosair added: “The innovation pipeline we have planned is truly second to none, with the partnership between Bowmore and Aston Martin setting a strong precedent for more exciting announcements to come.

“The union of these two iconic luxury brands is a landmark moment in Bowmore’s long standing history, and the synergy between the two brands when it comes to developing premium offerings is undeniable. We have some very special launches on the horizon which we look forward to sharing in more detail soon.”

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