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Wray & Nephew shakes up distribution

Published:Thursday | July 7, 2016 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon
An aerial view of Appleton Estate, home of J. Wray & Nephew's distillery.
The Wray & Nephew building on Spanish Town Road, Kingston.

J. Wray & Nephew Limited (JWN) says it has reorganised its brand portfolio and will discontinue distributorship of some products amid a fresh wave of restructuring and job cuts.

The Campari-owned spirits company recently announced some 30 positions will be axed as it seeks to improve operating efficiencies and reorder its business strategy.

The shift in the distribution arrangements will affect some wine and beer brands, Chairman Clement Lawrence told the Financial Gleaner.

He, however, declined to divulge the brands to be discontinued, citing ongoing discussions with stakeholders.

"We refocused our business on our local and owned brands portfolio and will not distribute a number of selected wines and beers brands as a consequence," he said.

The staff restructuring is expected to affect merchandisers, sales and marketing representatives as well as supervisors. The redundancies take effect July 31.

The company "is focusing on improving its business efficiencies and reducing fixed costs, thereby improving its competitiveness in the local market," said Lawrence.

The cuts align with the reshaping of the distribution arrangements.

"We have looked at the entire picture. People will be reassigned in different roles in some instances," said the spirits company chairman.

Pressed on whether the ongoing court fight with fish farm Algix factored in the restructuring, Lawrence said: "There is no correlation between the decision to restructure and the Algix civil case."

Algix has sued JWN alleging that its fish farm had suffered losses due to discharge of effluent from the spirit company's factory at Appleton in St Elizabeth.

JWN is fighting the lawsuit and has denied a link between its activities and the losses alleged by Algix.

Lawrence said the restructuring will allow for improvements to "our business efficiencies and increase our competitiveness with no adverse impact on our business".