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Bibendum sets aggressive integration target, but postpones move

Published:  13 February, 2015

Bibendum PLB has been working towards an aggressive six month integration target, but has decided to postpone plans to move to a new London location at least for the short term.

"We set ourselves a six month integration target which is really quite ambitious," said Fiona Alder, nee Cochran, Bibendum PLB's group brand director.

The integration process is well under way with several changes already having been made in December. The company restructured its buying, off-trade, marketing and technical teams at that time, resulting in a small number of redundancies.

Alder said: "We started with the marketing, buying and PLB team, which happened before Christmas. Now we are looking at on-trade sales, then finance and operations teams. For people who are in it, it feels like a long time. But actually from a corporate governance perspective, it is really, really fast."

She added: "The timing for the merger actually worked out really well as it was the right time for it in trade and it was the right time for it for both companies."

The ambitious integration targets coincide with the financial year end and next year's planning. "We are actually also in the middle of our financial planning at the moment. Our financial year starts on April 1, 2015. So it is all good timing," said Alder.

The focus of each team across the business right now is integration, but also to stay focused on their customers within their respective channels.

"The team's job is really day to day at the moment: integrate, put our customers first and get the right wine to them and get it there on time." said Alder.

However, with so much change moving to a new location in the short term seemed a bit too ambitious. The astronomical property prices in London also put the company off making the move too suddenly.

"The property market in London is competitive and we have a beautiful building in Primrose Hill that we own free hold. So why would we give that up? There needs to be a compelling argument for that so we made a decision to stay on the premises at least for the medium term. We are going to keep looking, but with all the changes; we are just going to squeeze in for a bit. We don't want to move just for the sake of moving," said Alder.