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Armit leaves The Bunch hanging

Published:  23 July, 2008

Armit, formerly known as John Armit Wines, has decided to withdraw from The Bunch, the trade group of independent merchants, and it will not be taking part in the forthcoming press tasting in January.

According to Ian Ronald, managing director at Armit,

the merchant is going to concentrate on building its

own brand in future. We had to decide if we would invest

in The Bunch and make it a proper brand or invest in our own brand. We decided that it makes more sense to invest

in Armit, which is generally better recognised than The Bunch anyway.'

Ronald's decision coincides with the name change, which was rolled out last month. We changed the name because our founder, John Armit, despite still being chairman, is mortal, and we thought it wise to prepare for a time when he would not be taking as direct a role in the business as he is now. Our customers, both trade and private, generally refer to us as Armit anyway, so it made sense to make the move.'

Alun Griffiths MW, managing director of Berry Bros & Rudd and current chairman of The Bunch, commented: I fully understand Armit's decision, but I still feel that The Bunch has a lot to offer as the voice for the quality independent trade in the UK. I think this is especially true with the press - which generally understands what The Bunch is and values it - although we are not planning to hold a consumer event next year, since previous events haven't quite come up to our expectations. But that decision is still under review.'

The current members of The Bunch are Adnams, Berry Bros & Rudd, Corney & Barrow, Lay & Wheeler, Tanners and Yapp. We have had quite a lot interest from other merchants wanting to join,' added Griffiths.