Deliveroo to expand national booze offer

Delivery business Deliveroo is targeting independents wine merchants, craft beer shops and bars across the UK, as it looks to to extend its reach into new areas.

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Deliveroo’s head of alcohol Harry Tyndall said that although the alcohol team was based in London – and currently the majority the company’s alcohol sales are generated in the capital, its most mature market – the company is continuing to roll out the concept regionally, highlighting Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Northern Ireland and Scotland as areas for growth. The service currently operates its food business in around 70 cities and is in the process of extending its alcohol reach into those areas, he told db.

The company formally announced the roll-out of its stand-alone alcohol delivery service in July on the back of partnerships with eight Majestic stores within the M25, 20 Brewdog sites nationally and a number of independent wine merchants including Jeroboams’, Lea & Sandemans and The Sampler in London. Prior to this, it customers could only order drinks from the same restaurants they had ordered food from.

But Tyndall said the company has been quietly working to build up a critical mass of around 100 partners in the preceding months, and this had now expanded to around 130 partners, and was set to grow by the end of quarter three. It is soon adding around 8 new Brewdog shops and bars, including those in Southampton, Dundee and Edinburgh.

Currently, Deliveroo delivers alcohol to 87 different areas nationwide, although around 64 of those are in and around London, the remainder in towns and cities including Basingstoke, Nottingham, St Albans, Cambridge, Manchester, Norwich, Dublin, Newcastle and Sheffield.

“We want to spread out across the these to reach customers. We don’t want to over-populate an area, if we already have enough partners in an area, I’d rather launch two new partners in a new zone,” he said.

“As long as we have a couple of partners per area, that will drive alcohol sales,” he said.

He argued that it was the execution of the operation and the premium offering that was contributing to growth. “We have a twenty minute delivery time, no-one else can offer that,” he said. “And you can get a £10-15 wine from Tesco, but we have Jeroboam and The Sampler who have £50-70 wines in their portfolio, so having customers in that demographic has driven growth.”

However, the team is keen to expand this and attract customers across all markets and demographics. “A lot of our partners are of a high calibre, so we’ve got good quality wine merchants, beer merchants and bars,” he said. “But that’s not to say that we will restrict that moving forward.”

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