A new name for a modern market

19 May, 2017

Off Licence News has been rebranded to better reflect its position in the market and will now be called Drinks Retailing News as it champions the off-trade in 2017 and beyond.

The magazine started life as a supplement called the Wine Trade Review in a new publication, The Grocer, in 1863 and became a standalone title the following year. 

It evolved into the Wine & Spirits Trade Review after World War I to take into account the popularity of Scotch and gin, and kept that name until 1970. In the early 1970s off-licences were the dominant force in the off-trade and the magazine was rebranded as Off Licence News. The name has served us well over the past 47 years, but we feel now is the right time for the third renaming in the title’s 154-year history.

Off-licence-led convenience stores are a huge and very important part of our readership, but the magazine covers the entire off-trade. We count multiple grocers, independent wine merchants, bottle shops, symbols, luxury department stores, online retailers, specialist retailers, wholesalers and more among our readers and we strive to serve as their eyes and ears, to inform and entertain them all.

It is a broad church and many are rivals, but the common goal is to preserve a healthy off-trade BWS market, and that is our mission. This does not mean that we will stop covering licensing issues or that our editorial focus will change. We will continue to provide what we believe to be an unrivalled blend of news, analysis, comment and insight, all solely dedicated to the off-trade drinks channel, something that no other title specialises in. 

It coincides with Agile Media, which has published the title under licence for many years, taking full ownership of the magazine from William Reed. We hope you enjoy the first issue, out today, and all future publications, plus coverage of our market-leading events, such as the Drinks Retailing Awards, International Beer Challenge, Think Gin and many more.

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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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