Online drinks delivery retailer Drinkly is set to expand into eight new cities in 2019.

The company was set up at the end of 2016 by John Robertson, who wanted to recreate the success of US quick-delivery services in the UK market.

Drinkly was initially trialled in Edinburgh and in two years has accrued more than 3,000 regular customers. It was later extended into Glasgow and revenues are expected to reach £1 million this year.

The plan for 2019 is to explore opportunities for the business in London, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham and Aberdeen.

Robertson, who previously worked as the international sales manager for Innis & Gunn, told DRN: “My career has always been in the drinks industry and when I did a business course in the US I found myself talking to brands about quick delivery services in the drinks market there, and then I wondered if it could work in the UK. I tested the market in the leanest way possible but the good thing was we got customers and they came back, and then we got more.

“It has grown pretty solidly since we started and six months ago we raised some funds to invest further and employ a team of staff.

“We currently work with one retailer in Edinburgh. It was excited about us providing a delivery service because it didn’t have the time to manage its own website and it could see that our ability to drive an additional revenue stream – and especially something that could fight back against delivery services from Amazon – was also an attractive proposition.

“We work across a three-mile radius of Edinburgh city centre and we have managed to drive drinks sales by 30% for that retailer through our promise of delivering chilled drinks within one hour. Our operation in Glasgow is also growing extremely quickly and there we work with a retailer with four stores that again didn’t have any online proposition or ability to deliver.

“The minimum order is £20 and the basket spend on average is £36, which is three times the average retail purchase for the retailers we currently work with. Delivery costs £3.50 or it is free over £40.”

Drinkly is looking for retailers that have a good range of mainstream brands along with some smaller, niche brands to drive interest. Online shoppers have been seeking out well-known brands and gift options, such as a nice gin or whisky (a gift-wrap service is available from Drinkly) and there is also a market for people ordering drinks to go with a takeaway, Robertson said.

“We are looking for retailers with a good product mix, whether they are wine merchants or convenience stores,” he added. “Our Edinburgh retailer has 650 products available online, although I would say around 200 is ideal.

“We operate firmly within the law and our drivers are trained to reject an order if they choose to do so. Customers have to show ID to the driver to verify it is the person who ordered and that they are over 18.

“We are looking to expand across more cities and we are looking to identify those partners that we feel are the right fit for us, with the right licensing conditions and an interesting product mix.”

For more details about the services from Drinkly visit: