Allied Domecq has appointed Service-Universal, part of The Charmer Sunbelt Group, as the exclusive distributor for its full portfolio of spirits and wine brands in upstate New York, effective January 1, 2005.

Allied Domecq has already secured "First Choice Supplier" agreements with Charmer Sunbelt in Metropolitan New York, as well as Washington, D.C., Maryland and Florida.

Jim Clerkin, president of Allied Domecq Spirits, North America, and Bill Newlands, president of Allied Domecq Wines, USA, in a joint statement said: "We are confident that our relationship with The Charmer Sunbelt Group will continue to give us a competitive advantage across the entire state of New York. The Charmer Sunbelt Group has already demonstrated its dedication to our 'First Choice Supplier' philosophy in Metro New York, positioning our premium portfolio of products for exceptional awareness and growth in that market. Our new, long-term strategic alliance with Charmer Sunbelt provides a unique opportunity to aggressively capture all market opportunities, including on-premise and national chain."

Herman Merinoff of The Charmer Sunbelt Group: "Allied Domecq is one of the leading spirits and wine suppliers in the industry and this long-term relationship will allow our focused sales force to represent a terrific portfolio of brands, providing significant value to our business. Allied Domecq selecting The Charmer Sunbelt Group to be the sole distributor in the state of New York speaks to the confidence that spirits and wine suppliers have in our companies and demonstrates our ability to deliver unparalleled value to both retailers and consumers."

Clerkin and Newlands continued: "Allied Domecq is charting its own destiny with its strategic U.S. distributor selections, which are based on market-by-market business opportunities. Allied Domecq's long-term 'First Choice Supplier' agreements with The Charmer Sunbelt Group feature a new way of partnering with exclusive distributors, including state-of-the-art performance assessments, increased investment in market spending and more committed 'feet on the street' than any other sales force in the market place. The relationship between Allied Domecq and Charmer Sunbelt will continue to demonstrate how we and our distributor partners can jointly invest to deliver unparalleled growth with performance-based incentives."