April 16 2020  |  Industry News

Farewell to Simon Roffe as Halewood Wines & Spirits confirms structural changes

By Jas Ryat



We here in duty free and travel retail continue to feel the ripple affects of COVID-19 as we grasp economical and structural changes amongst the industry. Halewood Wines & Spirits has confirmed that Simon Roffe, Managing Director Global Travel Retail, who launched the Halewood Wines & Spirits portfolio, including Whitley Neill Handcrafted Dry Gin, in global travel retail, will leave the business at the end of April.

The spirits company has restructured due to “significant financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic”. As well as changes throughout its International markets, the company has also confirmed that the management of Halewood’s travel retail unit will be transferred to Eamon Prunty with effect from 1 May 2020.

Roffe commented: “I am very sad that the Halewood chapter in my career has come to an end. It has been a very different journey from my previous roles in large multinational drinks companies, but a fabulous one. To have developed Whitley Neill from a zero base to the position of one of the leading premium gins globally across the duty free & travel retail network is something of which I am especially proud. I would like to thank personally all the marketing agency partners, trade agents and distributors as well as the wider duty free & travel community for believing in me and for supporting that success.

“In what has been, essentially, a start-up business, I have been able to draw on all the good practices, principles and contacts from my days at Diageo and Rémy Cointreau but, more importantly, have had to take a firm “hands-on” approach and that has been particularly enjoyable.

“Clearly, I am very keen to chase the next opportunity and to use my broad experience in new projects,” continued Roffe. “This is a very challenging time for our industry, and one the like of which we have never experienced before, but it is also a great time for brands to plan ahead so that they will be in a position to benefit when normality returns.”

Eamon Prunty joined Halewood in December 2018 in the European Export Buisness and for the last year has been focusing on travel retail distribution development in the UK and Europe. His new role will give him a global remit, working closely with duty free & travel retail business partners in all channels globally.


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