Southern Glazer’s invests in Reserve Bar

18th March, 2021 by Nicola Carruthers

US distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has acquired an equity stake in alcohol e-commerce platform Reserve Bar for an undisclosed sum.

Reserve Bar offers premium-and-above spirits for delivery

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (SGWS) is the biggest alcohol distributor in the US. The firm made the investment in Reserve Bar through its Southern Glazer’s Ventures arm, which seeks to ‘accelerate growth in strategic and complementary areas of interest’.

SGWS did not confirm if the deal included a minority or majority stake in the business.

According to SGWS, the deal will benefit suppliers by providing an additional three-tier-compliant platform for marketing their brands to consumers.

Reserve Bar is said to be the leading e-commerce platform for premium and luxury spirits, which are offered for delivery to consumers. While the platform is not a licensed supplier, wholesaler or retailer, it can connect consumers to licensed outlets.

“With Reserve Bar, we are able to offer our supplier partners an exciting three-tier compliant, consumer-focused channel to market and sell their premium brands,” said David Chaplin, chief growth officer, SGWS.

“We firmly believe that Reserve Bar’s innovative industry leadership in providing suppliers a content-to-commerce, premium branded, and experiential platform makes them the ideal partner.”

Reserve Bar provides new releases, special limited editions, celebrity-owned and influenced brands, cocktail content, and gifting, including personalised engraved bottles, spirits and accessory bundles, merchandise and giftware.

The equity investment will help SGWS to ‘effectively connect its supplier brands in luxury and premium segments to consumers in the fast-moving beverage alcohol digital e-commerce space’.

“We are thrilled to embark on our partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits because it will allow Reserve Bar to continue – and accelerate – its tremendous growth,” said Lindsay Held, co-founder and CEO of Reserve Bar.

“Having an industry stalwart, such as Southern Glazer’s, which has a never-ending quest for innovation, technology and industry best practices, is not only a great compliment to my Reserve Bar colleagues but also a great cultural and business fit.”

Diversity pledge

Reserve Bar has also revealed its new Spirited Change initiative, which seeks to boost diversity and inclusion in the industry by offering marketing assistance to minority- and women-owned suppliers.

The move also aims to raise consumer awareness of brands and make them more easily accessible to consumers. The Spirited Change initiative will be led by Jameel Spencer, who will act as executive director.

Chaplin added: “This venture with Reserve Bar is not only well aligned with our new fine wine and artisanal spirits strategy, but also with our commitment to expand representation of minority- and women-owned wine and spirits brands in the industry.

“We look forward to helping our diverse base of suppliers leverage this platform to build their brands and reach an important and growing category of consumer.”

The deal comes just a month after ride-sharing firm Uber agreed to acquire alcohol e-commerce platform Drizly for approximately US$1.1 billion.

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