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Virgin Wines grows sales by almost a third as customers shift online to buy wine in lockdown

Image courtesy of Virgin Wines

Virgin Wines says its sales grew by more than 30% for the second year in a row in its latest financial year, as existing and new customers bought more wine online during Covid-19 lockdowns and trading restrictions. 

Virgin Wines today reported revenue of £73.6m in the year to June 30 2021, 30.3% up from £56.6m a year earlier.  That includes a 31.5% rise in repeat direct-to-consumer sales, while commercial revenue grew by 72.8% and gift revenue by 75%. Pre-tax profits of £1.7m were down from £2.8m last time after one-off costs of £3.5m related to its stockmarket flotation. 

In the first quarter of 2022, sales grew by 13.3% while new customer acquisitions have risen by 10.7% on last time – despite the reopening of hospitality venues, and the end of all lockdowns. 

The retailer says its active customer numbers were 24% up on the previous year, with sales up among both subscription Wine Plan (+16%), Wine Bank (+22%) and pay as you go (+51%) customers. It has moved into selling craft beers and spirits as well as wine, during the year. During the year, it sold more than a million cases to more than 250,000 customers. 

Jay Wright, chief executive of Virgin Wines, says the year, its first full year as a listed company, has been a transformational one for the group. “Our focus this year has been on acquiring increased numbers of new customers, converting them to become long-term advocates of Virgin Wines, whilst maximising the loyalty of our existing customers and in turn driving growth in our overall customer base. 

“I am delighted that all of these objectives were met and that all our core trading channels have seen substantial year-on-year growth. We have also seen substantial growth in our gift and commercial channels, made significant headway in developing our craft beer and quality spirit offerings, all whilst continuing to deliver the very highest levels of customer service.”

Operations and logistics

Virgin Wines says it is well placed to supply its customers this Christmas, having stocked up early in the light of well-publicised supply chain issues. During the year it added an extra 50,000 sq ft of fully bonded warehouse space in September 2020, which enable it to continue serving customers over the Christmas 2020 period. 

Virgin Wines is a Top500 retailer in RXUK Top500 research. 

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