Britain Drinks Naked

UK online shoppers spent £5.2 billion online in April 2011 up 19% on April 2010 (Source: IMRG/Cap Gemini e-retail sales index).

55% increase in online purchases of alcoholic beverages

Thanks to beautiful sunshine, countless bank holidays and the Royal Wedding (AKA Pimm’s o’clock), there was a 55% increase in online purchases of alcoholic beverages from April 2010. The average online booze sale was worth £174, double what it was last year.

High-street decline

Jonathan Bellwood gave his honest opinion on the story ‘Mary Queen of shops to investigate struggling retail shops’. He highlighted the reasons for the high streets' decline versus e-commerce and the supermarket. Nowhere are these two forces more at play than in our livers.

I vaguely remember the inevitable downfall of Threshers, but it wasn’t so much the company as the off-licence culture that was failing. Of their 1,400 stores, only 400 were bought and reopened as off-licences.

The cheap booze on offer from supermarkets was a big factor in the Threshers decline. Now it is the online retailers that are stepping into Thresher’s space…


Naked Wines
Naked Wines

Savvy drinkers

Consumer shopping behaviour has changed. We are prepared to spend, but rather than “impulsively rushing out to the shops as soon as the sun comes out to buy” (Tina Spooner, Director of Information at IMRG) Britain has become more savvy to the fact that we will save money by shopping around online.


Naked Wines are one of the two Google ads targeting the rather out-of-touch Threshers shopper (if they haven’t worked it out by now they are either a customer not worth having or worth A LOT).

I have put Naked Wines through our online retailer checklist:

Cheap warehouse space in middle of nowhere? Unsure. They are based in Norfolk.

Sell all day and night? Check!

Loads of inventory at great pricing? Check!

Knows exactly what their customers bought when? Oh yes. Even better than that they get customers to decide and invest in the wines that they want to buy next. This sort of involvement from the community makes their products unique.  The competition will find this very hard to imitate.

Perhaps we should add, “Are they creating added value?” to our online retailer checklist.


The world of online retail can be cruel if you are selling purely on price, someone will always find a way to do it cheaper. Naked Wines are pretty much everything we love about e-commerce. An innovative concept and a community feel that rewards your pocket for participating. They have an interesting story as well.

Online success isn’t about just being the cheapest or everyone would buy everything from the supermarket. Get creative and find a way to deliver something refreshing and a customer will one day tell you, “you are utterly effing brilliant. Fact." (Stephen Rapoport, Naked Wines customer).

Author: Oliver Rhodes