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On-demand wine app spearhead's hybrid wine bar roll out across UK

Published:  08 July, 2021

An on-demand wine app offering one-hour delivery of artisan wines is to be rolled out across the UK, anchored by a planned 85 hybrid wine bar and retail stores operating as local delivery hubs.

Called Drop, the app is the brainchild of Ian Campbell and Will Palmer, co-founders of 10 Cases and The Drop Wine Bar in London, and is designed to fulfil “a gap in the market” for the prompt delivery of quality wines.

The Drop app was launched pre-pandemic and offers local London imbibers a one-hour wine delivery service, with a similar ethos to the selection that underpins the ever changing, small batch purchasing of 10 Cases.

Following a successful £500,000+ crowdfunding campaign this spring, Campbell and Palmer are now rolling out a franchisee model across the UK, with 15 hybrid Drop Wine Bar and retail stores planned for London and the South East in the next 12 months.

Four of these will open in London this summer, with ambitious plans to reach a target of 85 across the UK in three years, with each supporting and expanding the app’s reach around the country.

Campbell told Harpers that preparations for the opening of the first tranche of the London and South East Drop hybrid sites is well underway, with a mix of wine savvy and ex-sommelier people lined up to operate the venues.

He added that the project had attracted serious interest and funding, with the 85 target being “what’s needed to reach the whole of the UK” with one-hour delivery via the app, with ‘dark kitchen’ models planned for less populated areas.

A tripling of turnover via the app since the first lockdown added impetus to these plans, with Campbell and Palmer clearly believing that the public’s appetite for prompt delivery of £10+ wines from smaller producers will not fall away.

“We are excited to be increasing Drop’s footprint and bringing our expertly curated wine delivery service to wine lovers across the UK,” said Campbell.

“Lockdown has transformed consumer expectations around convenience and speed of delivery. What initially became a solution to supermarket queues and booked out delivery slots, has since become a long-lasting shift in customer behaviour”.

The Drop app, he added, offers a vastly different experience from the likes of Deliveroo and other delivery services, with what is described as a “feature-rich virtual wine cellar experience” aimed to appeal to consumers interested in individual and characterful wines.

On the hybrid wine bar and wine store front, while the initial Drop Wine Bar was formulated on a three-way split of revenue from on-trade, off-sales and app-generated delivery, franchisees will be encouraged to fashion a hybrid mix that best suits their local market.