Analysis of alcoholic beverages’ sales in WineLab for 2021

february 3 /2022

BELUGA GROUP has analyzed the changes in consumers’ buying activity for 2021 in its own WineLab retail chain.

In 2021, WineLab kept up the upward trend of the previous year. The chain’s volume increased by 56% and exceeded 1,000 stores; new outlets have been opened mainly in Moscow, the Moscow region and Saint Petersburg. Thus, WineLab is now among the top-3 alcohol retailers by the number of stores and as a result of 6M 2021 ranks #1 among specialized alcohol retailers, according to INFOLine agency. Sales volume increased by 31.9%, like-for-like sales showed dynamics of +14.8%. Moreover, almost all alcohol assortment of the group has demonstrated growth.

The average ticket in 2021 increased by 8.3% and amounted to 531 rubles. In January-February of the past year, the company recorded an increase of this index by 17% compared to the same months in the last year.

Premium spirits showed the best dynamics: sales of gin increased by +67.9%, liqueurs by +60%, whiskey by +52.1%. Wine, an important category for the group, demonstrated growth above average: champagne and sparkling wines +50.7%, vermouth +40.4%. Still wines showed the average dynamics on an already high base: +26%. Vodka demonstrated minimal growth: +15.2%. This is due to both a high base of the category and WineLab active expansion in metropolitan regions, where consumers prefer wine and Brown Spirits.

In December 2021, sales of WineLab increased by +43.5% compared to December 2020. At that, the growth trends in the retail chain coincide with the general annual trend – the breakthrough growth of premium spirits, as well as the wine category and a smaller growth in traditional categories:

●       Gin +121%,

●       Liqueurs, balsams, tinctures +97.3%,

●       Cognacs and brandy +65.3%, whiskey +64.4%, rum +52.8%,

●       Vermouths +57.5%, sparkling wines +55.2%, still wines +42.3%,

●       Vodka +26.3%.

The key drivers in terms of sales volume in 2021 were vodka brands such as Arkhangelskaya, Belenkaya, Tsar and Beluga. At that, Arkhangelskaya accounts for 4.3% of all chain sales. As for the non-vodka category, Doctor August tincture and Tiflis Treasure brandy became the leaders. As for imported spirits brands, the Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey takes the first place, followed by Barceló Dominican rum and Grant's whisky. The leaders in the wine assortment were still wines Torres San Valentin as well as sparkling wines Montelvini Prosecco and Scanavino.

The traditional volumes of bottles for spirits – 0.5 and 0.7 liters – remain the most popular among customers. At the same time, the trend of increasing sales of large volumes of bottles – 1 liter – keeps on. This is due to the fact that customers prefer to go to stores less often and buy more on a one-time basis, as well as to enjoy price benefits when buying large liters.

Considering the frequency of stores’ visits, the average alcohol spending for the main customer group grew in 2021 by 10%, amounting to 1,100 rubles per month. Customer traffic increased by 21.9% compared to 2020, and the customer satisfaction index was up by 17%.

The strong growth observed in e-commerce: the volume of click & collect sales increased 2.3 times. This is due to the website and mobile application, which enabled an option to order a wider range of products from the warehouse, as well as thanks to the partnerships with SberMegaMarket and Wildberries marketplaces conducted in 2021. In total, customers received over 440 thousand online orders in 2021.

The number of loyalty program members in 2021 increased by 1 million clients, its total membership exceeded 4 million people.

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