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Glazer’s Establishes Operations In Canada, Signs Several Key Suppliers

October 15, 2013

Glazer’s, which has emphasized globalization as a pillar of its long-term growth strategy, has established operations in Canada, one of the world’s largest premium drinks markets. Dallas-based Glazer’s has created Glazer’s of Canada LLC to handle the company’s nascent Canadian agency/broker business.

The new unit will be headquartered in Toronto, and led by Joel Toguri, who joins Glazer’s with over 20 years of professional experience in Canada, including local leadership positions at Beam Global and Molson. Toguri has been assembling a team that will manage provincial board relationships, key accounts and chains, logistics, and on/off-premise merchandising and promotion across the Canadian market.

“This really came about because some of our leading suppliers told us they really thought we should be in Canada, and they’re happy that we’ve made the move,” Glazer’s CEO Shelly Stein told Shanken News Daily. “We already have a number of suppliers who have signed up with us, and we think we’ll have more soon.”

While Stein wouldn’t divulge which suppliers have aligned with Glazer’s in Canada, some of the distributor’s key suppliers in the U.S. market are also among the Canadian spirits and wine market’s leading players. For instance, Diageo—which is partnered with Glazer’s in Texas (the wholesaler’s biggest market), among other states, owns four of Canada’s top-selling spirits brands—Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal and Baileys.

Glazer’s, long one of the leading U.S. distributors of spirits, wine and beer, made its first move outside the continental U.S. last year, when it formed a foothold in the U.S. Virgin Islands via a joint venture with U.S.V.I.-based Premier Wines and Spirits. While its entry into Canada represents its first play beyond U.S. territory, Glazer’s appears intent on further international expansion. “We look at spirits and wine as a global business, in terms of the fact that you can go to a huge number of countries around the world and see brands that you recognize,” says Stein. “Given that, we feel like we should be in any market where there’s a real opportunity for us to provide value and service to our suppliers.”

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