Independent Irish drinks specialist Duty Free Global (DFG) has entered into a distribution partnership with Global Drinks Ltd (GDL) to strengthen the DFG portfolio in Asia Pacific.

Hong Kong-based spirits company Global Drinks is owned and led by Managing Director Harry Kartasis. It specialises in the import and distribution of wines & spirits brands in Asian domestic and travel retail markets.

Kartasis brings extensive regional expertise to the partnership, having worked for Bacardi, Moët & Hennessy and most recently as General Manager Asia Pacific for Distell.

Duty Free Global offers a variety of specialist spirits & wines in its extensive portfolio: (Top left to bottom right) Scarabus Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky, Gold Bar whiskey, RumChata, Death’s Door gin, Somrus Gold Chai Spice cream liqueur and Buffalo Trace Kentucky bourbon

“Global Drinks is the perfect strategic partner for our company as we look to strengthen our distribution and reach for the brands we represent in the Asia Pacific market,” said Duty Free Global Founder and Commercial Director Barry Geoghegan.

“Harry and his company bring more synergies and structure to DFG in the region; from their back office and sales support teams, to their extensive Asian network, plus the welcome addition of warehousing in the Philippines, which provides a great hub for our brands.”

Harry Kartasis said: “I am very pleased to be partnering with Barry Geoghegan and the team at Duty Free Global. I have long admired Barry’s passion for his brands, his team, and the travel retail channel. The collaboration between Duty Free Global and Global Drinks gives both companies the opportunity to strengthen our brands across the globe, using each other’s extensive resources and market expertise.”

Kartasis added: “With both Barry and I passionate Liverpool Football Club supporters, our spiritual song ‘You’ll never walk alone’ has never been more apt as we support our brand partners and customers on this journey. We are confident that this collaboration will not only benefit both our companies but, most importantly, our clients, with our customers having access to an extensive portfolio of engaging brands as well as even more support in the region.”

“You’ll never walk alone” says Global Drinks Managing Director Harry Kartasis (right) in a joint reference to his and Barry Geoghegan’s (left) mutual support for Liverpool FC and their commitment to brand partners during these difficult times

The partnership is among a series of moves taken by Duty Free Global to kickstart its recovery post-COVID-19. Another is the appointment of Kerri Judge as Brand & Marketing Manager. Judge will work closely with Duty Free Global’s brand partners to develop new growth strategies as travel retail cautiously restarts.

Judge will also serve as a direct link to brands and manage Duty Free Global’s brand involvement in the inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

“I’m delighted to join the amazing team at Duty Free Global and collaborate with our world class wine & spirits brands and partners in duty free and travel retail,” said Judge.

A strong comeback: Kerri Judge is working closely with DFG brands to adapt to the ‘new normal’ of travel retail

Commenting on the company’s participation in the first-ever Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo, Geoghegan said: “We are delighted Moodie Davitt have taken this great initiative to help us all connect together in this difficult time. It will encourage us all to develop new tools of passenger engagement in a changing world. Our brand partners are 100% behind this innovative approach to exhibitions and conferencing.”

In addition, Barry Geoghegan has also become a member of the Academy Advisory Group (AAG) for the Duty Free World Council (DFWC) to help shape the content of its Academy Course. The course runs in partnership with the Institute of International Retail (IIR) and offers programmes for duty free and travel retail professionals.

Geoghegan added, “As the industry opens back up, I am very pleased to be able to offer my support and experience through the AAG with DFWC. Meanwhile, we remain hopeful that governments will look to give passengers incentives to travel in the future, including potential for increasing duty free allowances.”

Duty Free Global is a Platinum Partner for The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo

The unique 5-day ‘live’ event, followed by a 30-day showcase, begins on 12 October, just after the conclusion of the Chinese Golden Week holidays. It features a star-studded series of events across the five days, including a Symposium, category workshops and a new consumer research initiative.

Registration is free for buyers, exhibitors and preferred media partners. (Click here to register)