For those domiciled in the UK, especially London for the past 2 decades or those who frequently visit the British capital city, The Whiskey Exchange (TWE) is a popular retail storefront with prominent locations at Covent Garden, Great Portland street and London Bridge. The retail chain, which has been specialising in collectibles including rare blends of Whiskey and other malt beverages with a strong presence online, combining offline and online retailing, has been acquired the world’s second largest Alcobev companies with revenues of USD 10 Bn, Pernod Ricard. Brothers Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh started the first outlet n 1999 and immediately ventured online too around the turn of the Millenium. Luckily, the company has not only remained online all along, but has also evolved to be relevant all these years offering a range of products which are hard to see or buy elsewhere in the world.
Niche positioning certainly helps. The brothers inherited their family business named “The Nest” in the city of London after their parents retired from business. Subsequently, the Singhs have built a formidable customer experience with TWE offering 4,000 varieties of Whiskies from across the world incl. 3,000 Single Malt Scotch varieties, 400 champagnes, 700 rum varieties, 600 types of Gin, 400 combinations of Tequila and Mezcal, etc. to name a few of their offering.
Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, stated : “E-commerce is a key channel in our long term strategy. We are thrilled to work with Industry pioneers such as Sukhinder, Rajbir and the whole team to bring The Whisky Exchange to a new step of its development“. Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh, founders of The Whisky Exchange, declared : “After more than 20 years building The Whisky Exchange, we are delighted to be joining the Pernod Ricard family and working with them to take the business to the next level. The Whisky Exchange and our customers have always felt like a family, and we are looking forward to maintaining this ethos with a partner that shares our values. Our mission remains the same: to offer the finest range of whiskies and spirits from the best producers around the world, educate and engage with consumers, and support the top on-trade establishments around the UK”.
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Pernod Ricard offers over 50 varieties of Whisky, Vodka, Rum and Wines and is a household name globally with a strong presence in Travel Retail, selling alcohol at transit points such as airports, seaports, border shops and so on. The company already operates in-house platforms such as Drinks&Co and Bodeboca along with which The Whiskey Exchange is expected to blend well in it’s consumer centric strategy of meeting new customer domaines and needs, with the evolution of consumers every 10 years. For Ex., while clubbing and pubbing was popular 2 decades back across the world, today its the finer-bar cum restaurants which serve discerning customers what they deserve in a suitable environment, for which consumers are willing to pay a premium. Similarly, with the world getting wider (spread across due to globalisation), many consumers today prefer to own a name worthy home-bar to infuse a sense of taste that is personal to their personality while also serving their guests with the best of alcohol from across the worlds. With changing times, come changing business approaches. Else, who would have wondered ever an Alcobev company buying a liquor retail chain!