Pernod Ricard strengthens e-commerce with The Whisky Exchange

French wine and spirits group Pernod Ricard has announced the acquisition of The Whisky Exchange, the leading online spirits retailer.


Different consumer habits

The world's second-largest wine and spirits company, Pernod Ricard, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire The Whisky Exchange, the leading online spirits retailer. The sum of the acquisition was not disclosed.


With the acquisition, the French company is responding to the change in consumer habits, with more and more purchases being made online. "This acquisition is in line with Pernod Ricard's consumer-centric strategy of meeting new consumer needs and expectations, in a context of solid e-commerce growth and strong demand for premiumisation", a communiqué reads.


Small but growing rapidly

It is not that Pernod Ricard is only now discovering the internet. The group already had a digital offering, with webshops such as Bodeboca and Drinks&Go. The segment is still very small within the entire group, accounting for a turnover contribution of about 5 per cent, but it is growing rapidly. Last year there was a growth of no less than 63 per cent, reports Belgian newspaper De Tijd.


The Whisky Exchange was founded in 1999 by the brothers Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh and has since grown into the largest online retailer of premium whiskies and spirits. In addition to an award-winning online store, the retailer also owns three physical stores in central London. The company's catalogue contains around 10,000 products, including over 4,000 whiskies, 800 cognacs, 700 rums, 600 gins, 400 tequilas and 400 champagnes.


The takeover comes as a slight surprise, as until recently, the Singh brothers categorically stated that they would never sell their family business.