Scottish e-commerce platform Drinkly plans rapid expansion in 2019

E-commerce platform Drinkly is poised to enter the London market, marking the second step in its expansion plans.

Glen Stocco, Drinkly’s director of business operations (Photo: Drinkly)

The Edinburgh-based business, which acts as an online shop front for specialist local retailers, was founded in 2016 by John Robertson, a former employee of Kingfisher Beer.

Working with a network of local independents and trained drivers, Drinkly offers consumers in Edinburgh and Glasgow a choice of over 650 products across spirits, beers, wines, soft drinks and snacks – all delivered within one hour.

However, the firm said that it was planning an imminent move into central London, the first of eight city launches planned for 2019, including Manchester, Bristol, Leeds and Birmingham.

“Initially, we want to cater to consumers in central London, before expanding to cover the entire city,” said Robertson.

“Ideally, the service should launch in May. We’ve already got 6 merchants keen to work with us, and I feel the e-commerce market is London is largely untapped.”

In addition, the tech start-up has recently doubled its workforce in preparation for its ambitious expansion plans, with the recruitment of a director of business operations and a brand partnerships manager.

Before joining Drinkly, new director of business operations Glen Stocco was an advisor and mentor for Scottish companies exploring foreign markets and an assessor for Scottish Edge.

“Glen is an operational leader with a proven track record working with founders and CEO’s driving business transformation and growth whilst also ensuring robust processes, systems and governance,” said Robertson.

“He has a good knowledge of a broad range of functions including finance, HR, legal, operations, and sales, and brings a track record of stakeholder management and negotiation across multiple sectors,” he added.

Stocco will work alongside brand partnerships manager Jill Davidson. Before joining Drinkly, Davidson was partnerships manager at Edinburgh Rugby; in three years, she helped enhance the sponsorship revenue by 60% on the back of a commercial strategy she developed to improve acquisition and retention.

“Jill certainly knows how to drive best value when it comes to getting the most out of brand relationships,” said Robertson.

Under Robertson’s direction, Drinkly has created partnerships with Heineken and other independent craft brands. Turnover in the first year stood at £55,000, with Y2 turnover expected to hit £1 million through expansion into other cities.

According to a e-commerce report published in 2018 by the IWSR, both France and the UK have the “most developed e-commerce sectors” globally for alcohol.

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