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Incentives from Miller offered to wholesalers.

Incentives from Miller offered to wholesalers

In an attempt to urge continued record sales, Miller Brewing Co. is offering its wholesalers nationwide an additional 50 cents for every case of premium beer they sell above their set goals.

Spokesperson Bev Jurkowski said it was the first time Miller has run such a sales promotion, which will cover the second and third fiscal quarters that run from April through September.

The incentives are aimed at capturing a bigger share of the market left opening by declining sales from smaller brewers and rewarding wholesalers, the key players in the battle for market share.

The incentive of 50 cents a case could produce higher sales, said Paul Roller, executive vice president of Miller Brands in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, the Miller distributor for Milwaukee County. "We fully expect to exceed the goal."

However, Kirby Lawlis, president, Miller Brands, said getting the extra money meant surpassing Miller's national sales increase of three to four percent and the state increase of four to five percent.

"There are some strings attached," he said.

In addition, wholesalers must have sales this July that exceed the sales of July 1989, so they cannot simply have retailers stock up on additional beer in one period to make sales look higher.

Miller's plan for wholesalers comes at the same time that its top rival, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, is asking its wholesalers to share in the cost of cooperative advertising of Bud Dry to the tune of 50 cents a case.

Timothy Sheehan, president, Beechwood Distributors, the Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in Milwaukee, said his company's plan was an attempt to have local wholesalers share in the cost of local radio advertising and bill-boards for the new brand.

"It's not onerous," he said. "It's nice to have a new trendy brand."

He said he would prefer not to share in the cost of the Bud Dry, but accepted it as part of the cost of doing business.

Asked about Miller's incentive, he replied, "I'd love to have a challenge like that."
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jul 2, 1990
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