The challenges facing alcohol e-commerce

The CEO of Campari Group, Bob Kunze‐Concewitz, said the company’s “biggest exposure to e-commerce is in the UK, with 10% of our sales coming from the channel”.

This is followed by the US, where “market share of e-commerce ranges from double to triple digits”, he said. The three‐tier system in the US means “manufacturers and owners cannot become involved” in the online alcohol space, Kunze‐ Concewitz explained, with the group “working closely with leading players”.

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There are very few restrictions on sale of alcohol in the UK, in store or online. Just an age check (and parcel companies can be requested to age check a parcel at the door).

Fully commercial model (no government owned stores or wholesalers, mixture of direct supply and commercial wholesalers); a retailer’s license to sell alcohol from a physical location can be withdrawn if they are caught selling to under age.

Some boutique brewers/distillers sell D2C, most don’t.

No surprise that alcohol ecommerce is well embedded in the UK. Pre-ecommerce you had major retailers offering parcel delivery for mail/phone orders (e.g. “The Wine Society”, Berry Bros, Laithwaites, Direct etc.)

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