Findlater has started distributing Stolichnaya in Ireland this week

Findlater has started distributing Stolichnaya in Ireland this week

SPI Group has switched distributors for its Stolichnaya vodka portfolio in Ireland.

The Luxembourg-based company announced today (3 January) that it has moved Stolichnaya distribution in the country from Cork's Barry & Fitzwilliam Ltd to Findlater Wine and Spirit Group. No reason was given for the change, and no-one was immediately available to give further details when contacted by just-drinks today.

Speaking to just-drinks this afternoon, however, the chairman of Barry & Fitzwilliam, Chris Murphy, advised that it was the Irish distributor that had decided to terminate the distribution tie-up with SPI.

“We (Barry & Fitzwilliam) advised SPI in September 2011 that we did not wish to renew our contract, as per the appropriate clause in our contract agreement,” Murphy said. “We further advised them we would assist them in any way possible with an orderly transfer of distribution to their preferred new partner.

“Our decision was made purely for commercial reasons as we wish to prioritise our existing range of brands.”

The move took effect from 1 January.

“The Stolichnaya brand is a significant addition to our spirits portfolio in Ireland,” said Tom Gray, Findlater's MD. “The entire team at Findlater is enormously enthusiastic about building this prestigious brand in the marketplace. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with SPI Group.”

SPI's portfolio in the country includes Stolichnaya Premium, Flavoured and Gold variants and Elit by Stolichnaya.

The original version of this story claimed that Barry & Fitzwilliam was dropped by SPI Group as its Irish distributor. We have since found out that this was not the case. just-drinks apologises for the error and any confusion caused.