Saturday, November 11, 2006

House Champagne

Our eightteen year history with Ruinart is coming to an end. We were one of their first UK customers, if not the first, and our relationship has spanned many years, some more prosperous than others. That is a very special kind of partnership, and in many ways it is a shame to see it come to an end. But our paths run in different directions now, and the time has come to move forward in the direction that we have set for ourselves. To this end, we have spent the last four months engaged in various negotiations with several grand marque houses to forge a new partnership and select what we feel is the appropriate champagne to represent the Chester Grosvenor. I use "we" quite loosely, because the fact of the matter is that I actually had very little part in the proceedings. Negotiations of this calibre take place way above my payscale, and Im way too inexperienced at that kind of deal to have been any practical use anyway. For the most part our negotiating team consisted of the Managing Director and Ross. They met with the various UK representatives of the brands in question and outlined what we were expecting of our house champagne. This is not only about price, although that is a dominating factor, but a whole raft of support and commitment on their behalf and an almost equal amount of commitment on our part too. Staff education and training, stock availability and placement within our immediate vicinity, brand support with gourmet dinners, lunches, marketing support, advertising within our internal magazine and potential other collateral, negotiated price freezing and inflationary increases in cost, and a host of other little terms and condititions.

So after a couple of false starts and two very attractive offers from two high profile Grand Marque houses we have finally agreed a new house champagne. I cant divulge the name until the ink is dry but it should be done soon.

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