Deliveroo drinks delivery service welcomed by retailers

A host of drinks retailers say Deliveroo’s new alcohol delivery service has already brought in new business in addition to overcoming the challenges of adding a delivery arm to their existing operations. 

Majestic Wines, BrewDog and a raft of leading independent drinks retailers have agreed to partner with the on-demand food delivery service Deliveroo to offer a standalone drinks delivery service, following a successful trial period. Under the scheme, Deliveroo customers can now choose from a selection of retailers to order drinks to accompany their meals, or they can order alcohol as a standalone order, with minimum orders set at £15.

Stephen Finch, founder and director at Vagabond Wines, told OLN: “It is much easier for me to do a delivery service this way than to set up my own, because I don’t have to worry about building e-commerce or allocating human resources or pricing those orders or couriers, etc. So when you look at what Deliveroo charge - and they do take a big commission – I think it still makes sense to do it this way, plus they bring a lot of new business to us.”

James Hickson, owner and managing director at We Brought Beer, agreed: “Deliveroo offer us a really simple way to deliver amazing beers to our local neighbourhood. Before using Deliveroo we were unable to offer a delivery service as we didn’t have the resources or manpower to make it happen. So Deliveroo has been a real boost for both us but more importantly our customers who sometimes can’t always make it into store but don’t want to have to compromise on their beer choices.” 

Independent drinks retailers who have signed up for the service include Lea and Sandeman, Honest Brew, Mother Kellys, Vagabond Wines, Albion Wine Shoppers, Fine Cocktails, Caps and Taps, White Lyan and Jeroboams. Currently eight Majestic Wines across London have signed up for the service. 

Deliveroo began trialling standalone alcohol merchants on the platform in spring this year and has registered strong demand for the service since this date. 

Retailers who have trialled the service are also confident it will help them to reach new customers.

Finch told OLN: “I would say each site has taken a few thousand more through this scheme per month – it’s not a game changer but it is meaningful. And it is really not much work for us. 

“We have been working with them on a trial basis since March and it has been going very well; it’s almost entirely added sales and hasn’t cannibalised our in-store sales.”

Vagabond has created a list of wines for Deliveroo, comprising around 20 wines priced at £15 or above. 

“We want it to be simple for customers and not overwhelming so we stuck to 20 wines. We stuck to £15 and up and that seems to work well and it differentiates us from some of the other guys who may sell cheaper wines.” 

We Brought Beer’s Hickson said: “The way that customers search on Deliveroo, by postcode, means that we are reaching a whole new audience of people who are on our doorstep but may only discover us through Deliveroo, for example if they are going on to get some food and decide to try us out for some beers to complement the food. Our hope is that these people then go on to become regular customers in our stores so we definitely see the partnership as a positive complement to our physical bricks and mortar stores.” 

Philip Beaven, managing director at The Sampler, also said he believes the new partnership will help his business reach new customers. 

He said: “We’ve seen a great uptake from the postcodes local to our stores but are also engaging with a new consumer across central London. Initially I was skeptical regarding what additional revenue this service would provide but have been delighted to see our sales from this channel grow week on week.”

A spokesperson for Majestic, which currently has four of its stores working with Deliveroo (increasing to eight this month), told OLN that it is too early to say if the company will be rolling this out to any more stores. 

At present customers can order Majestic wines alongside their takeaway order through Deliveroo if they are in close proximity to one of the stores involved in the trial. It is a separate transaction so customers do not need to order food, but again the minimum order value is £15. 

Like Deliveroo’s food delivery service, alcohol merchants who have signed up to the scheme will be provided with a tablet in which orders can be processed through the Deliveroo app. Nearby riders will collect the order from staff and deliver to customers in an average of 20 minutes. 

Dan Warne, managing director of UK & IE at Deliveroo, said: “Majestic Wines and BrewDog are perfect launch partners for us offering great pairings for meals ordered on Deliveroo and by working with independent merchants like Clapton Croft and Humble Grape we are continuing to champion the UK’s independent businesses as well.”

Deliveroo has partnered with alcohol education charity DrinkAware and its riders are trained to ID people who may look under 25. 

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