Steve Barton leaves Britain to head up US division of Brand Phoenix

02 August, 2013

Brand Phoenix co-founder Steve Barton is leaving the UK business and relocating to the USA to push the company’s First Cape brand into that market.

Greg Wilkins, recently appointed managing director of Brand Phoenix, will be responsible for the continued development of the business in its core UK market.

Wilkins will be assisted in the UK by co-founder Steve Rosser, while Barton will remain a shareholder in Brand Phoenix.

Barton, who came third in Off Licence’s News’ top 25 Most Influential Wine Supplier list this year, said: “Having spent 15 months building the framework for FirstCape in the USA, the development now requires focus, which the new structure allows.

“The US remains one of the most competitive markets in the world, but on-going per capita growth also makes the States one of the most exciting markets for progressive brands.”

Wilkins added: “With the growth of the business over recent years and the very competitive GB retail landscape, the new structure allows a clear plan and focus in the next stage of both the First Cape brand and the Brand Phoenix businesses in Great Britain and relevant export markets outside of the US.  

“We will continue to build on both our strong brand equity and our partnerships with Distell and the SHS Group.”




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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