Deliveroo has attracted more than 400 BWS partners in the past year and is targeting the convenience sector along with specialist indies as it seeks to increase its footprint.

Harry Tyndall, Deliveroo’s
 UK sales lead, told DRN: “We are looking to increase and expand on the number of wine merchants and craft beer shops we work with, but we are also now getting more into the convenience market. This is becoming quite a big area for us.

“The benefit to retailers is that it offers a new route to market and a new sales channel because a lot of these retailers rely on footfall. They might be small independents so their competition – retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s – have big ecommerce platforms which they can’t compete
with. These retailers 
can work with us and we 
can provide them with an ecommerce platform for people to purchase from. It’s quite revolutionary to their operations and it’s a big thing for them.”

There are also wine merchants partnering with Deliveroo that already have ecommerce platforms. “There are some that do offer purchases online but traditionally they would promise delivery within 24 to 48 hours.

“The speed and convenience we offer, within 20 minutes, 
is a way we can optimise the operations of those who already have a delivery 
service because we can provide an extra arm to their current channel. We can 
also help with specifics such 
as shifting surplus stock or selling ranges.”

Tyndall added that the average orders are £30 to £40 through Deliveroo’s wine merchant partners, “which is very high”.

He added: “People are prepared to pay a premium to have alcohol delivered quickly and it is considered a luxury purchase. The rest of our alcohol business is made up of beer partners, such as Heineken with its Brew House. From November 2016 to February this year we launched 65 shops [covering different postcodes] for Heineken.”

Deliveroo’s aim for future expansion is to spread geographically but also to select the right partners to cover all price points. Tyndall said: “We want to make sure each area has a good wine partner and a good beer partner and then maybe one that sells a bit of everything.”

The company doesn’t link its food service to its alcohol deliveries because this doesn’t work operationally, but the benefit of adding convenience stores to its alcohol delivery arm is that it can allow them to sell food that has an affinity to alcohol, such as snacks.

The time is right for pushing on with expansion, he added. “It’s a great move by us. We are helping to address the different challenges retailers face and, from a consumer’s point of view, there are increasing numbers
of people who don’t have
that spare half hour to go out shopping. If we can facilitate that need for good-quality products and we can help the retailer
sell them, then overall we can help retailers have a better relationship with consumers.”

Rivals to Deliveroo are
 also getting in on the act. The producers of Skinny Prosecco have linked up with Supper to offer a one-hour delivery service. Supper, whose core business is delivering high- end restaurant meals, is expanding into drinks and other products and it said its bikes are specifically built to maintain the temperature and quality of the food and drink they are carrying.