Silver surfers spike online drinks sales

06 May, 2008

Older consumers helped to drive a 60 per cent surge in online drinks sales in February and March, new data shows.

Online drinks sales surged by 60% in February and March and are now worth £700 million a year, according to new data.

IMRG Capgemini, which provides market intelligence for internet companies, reports that e-commerce is achieving its best-ever performance despite the consumer downturn.

Anthoula Madden, of Capgemini UK's consumer products and retail team, said: "The poor Easter weather appears to have paid off for online retailers as more people seem to have spent more time inside, shopping online in March.

"Interestingly, people in the UK don't appear to be curbing their drinking as the online beers, wines and spirits sector saw a huge increase in sales of more than 25% in the first week of March alone."

Virgin Wines sales were up 46% year-on-year, according to managing director Rowan Gormley.

He said: "I think the market has just tipped. All of a sudden, rather than being driven by 20-year-olds who were the early adopters [of the net], I'm starting to get emails from people saying 'as a pensioner ... The silver surfers have arrived."

Vinitrac research from Wine Intelligence in March 2007 found that 16% of regular wine drinkers in the UK had bought wine online in the previous six months. Internet shopping was marginally more popular among those aged over 55, the survey found, with those under 34 the least likely to buy wine online.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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