Liquor conglomerate Beam Suntory said Tuesday it will move its corporate headquarters from Chicago to New York in mid-2022.
The company said about 100 employees will relocate and more will have that option. A spokeswoman said about 400 people will continue to work at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. It will remain Beam Suntory’s largest global office and home to its North American business unit.
Executives said the move will help the company build brands and stay on top of consumer trends. It also will place it closer to its Japan-based parent, Suntory Holdings, with which it will share offices in New York. Beam Suntory said it will move to 11 Madison Ave. in Manhattan, where it has signed a long-term lease for about 100,000 square feet.
“As one of the world’s greatest global cities, New York will provide a unique environment to help us accelerate our premiumization strategy and growth plans,” CEO Albert Baladi said.
In a news release, Baladi addressed the impact of the pandemic on physical workplaces. “As we look to the future, we anticipate returning to office-based work to enable the kind of collaboration we need to reach our growth ambitions,” he said.
“Cities clearly have an important role to play in the future of work, and while we will surely offer a higher degree of workplace flexibility, we will continue to build a strong presence in the key global cities that are closest to consumer trends and our customers.”
Beam Suntory owns such spirits as Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek and Canadian Club.
The company brought its headquarters into Chicago from Deerfield in 2016, part of a campaign by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel to win corporate jobs. Then-CEO Matt Shattock said at the time, “This move puts our business squarely in the center of the action, closer to our customers and consumers in one of the world’s greatest cities.”