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Alcohol e-commerce ‘could hit $15bn’ in US

The advent of on-demand alcohol delivery services in the US will contribute to the creation of an e-commerce industry worth up to US$15 billion a year, the head of Drizly has predicted.

Nick Rellas, co-founder and CEO of Drizly

Speaking to The Spirits Business, Nick Rellas, co-founder and CEO of leading on-demand alcohol delivery platform Drizly, said he believes alcohol sold online will be worth US$7-US$15 billion annually in the US “over the next few years”.

“As the world increasingly moves digital, people will continue to want to buy alcohol online just like they do everything else and as consumer demand increases, whoever can address and meet the needs of wants of consumers will win,” said Rellas.

“There are no legal reasons why this can’t happen and Drizly has shown that it is possible, so you’ll begin to see a creation of a US$7-US$15 billion a year industry in online sales over the next few years.”

Drizly is an app-controlled on-demand drinks delivery service that has been rapidly gaining pace across the US in the past year. Founded in 2012, the service connects users to their nearest alcohol retailer, allowing them to receive orders at their doorstep in 20-40 minutes.

Last year, the firm announced a partnership with trade body Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, showing that “technology can be an ally of mature, regulated industries like alcohol – not a disruptor”.

Drizly also entered into a partnership with food-focused social network Allrecipes at the end of last year, offering “unprecedented convenience” to shoppers.

“For the first time, liquor retailers are joining the shift from the physical to the digital world, which other consumer industries have embraced over the past 15 years,” said Rellas. “Retailers are now able to compete online, using the tools that so many other sectors have benefited from to boost online sales.

“Because of Drizly, these retailers are now seeing a customer that is spending more, buying more often and a more profitable product mix. At the end of the day it’s a win-win for retailers.”

To read more of Nick Rellas’s views on the alcohol retail market, see our ‘Confessions of a Spirits Retailer’ feature in the August 2016 issue of The Spirits Business, out soon.

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