The Single Malt Shop, a leading specialist online retailer of premium whiskies, has commented on the continuing good health of the thriving whisky industry in Ireland and the UK. Despite cost of living challenges, the increasing numbers of new consumers into the category coupled with a growing appetite for more premium whiskies means the whisky industry continues to thrive in a post Covid landscape.

The Single Malt Shop is an online retailer based in Dublin, Ireland, which sells to more than 30 countries worldwide and prides itself on an industry-leading selection of Irish whiskey while also boasting one of the industry’s best selections of Scotch, American and Japanese whiskies. The Single Malt Shop has enjoyed a period of sustained growth in sales and consumer interest in the last 18 months, which founder Ed Forrest says is indicative of wider trends in the world of whisky and spirits retail. See below for the key drivers of this growth, according to The Single Malt Shop.

1. Seamless independent service 

From the outset, The Single Malt Shop recognised the need for their offering to be unique and their service to be as fast and as user friendly as possible. “There are a few things that make us different,” says Ed Forrest. “We are a specialist whisky online retailer, i.e. we do not sell other spirits; we are an Ireland-based retailer that promotes Irish whiskey first and foremost. All our UK & Europe customers can enjoy a seamless service where every tax and charge is collected at check out. Finally, we are independent, i.e., not owned by any major group, which means we can be totally brand-agnostic.” 

These benefits, according to Forrest, grant whisky enthusiasts who avail of The Single Malt Shop an unparalleled selection coupled with hassle free purchasing. 

2. Increased premiumisation in whisky

While a section of the online marketplace aims to drive sales by heavy discounting, The Single Malt Shop’s business model focuses instead on offering a curated selection of whiskies, many of which consumers can’t get anywhere else. “Premiumisation is a growing trend in today’s market. We    showcase whiskies above £50 and up to £40,000 per bottle.”  says Forrest, “we avoid discounting as much as possible and focus more on exclusive product offers and service.” Instead of the kind of shopper who looks for discounted bottles, The Single Malt Shop caters for an audience enthusiastic about premium whisky, and more likely to be attracted by one-off collaborations, limited-edition products and the opportunity to taste old and rare bottlings than discounts.

3. E-commerce allows for specialisation

Finally, Forrest believes that The Single Malt Shop’s ability to be a specialist retailer with a broad, international reach is one of the drivers of its continued success. “We are new, so we are starting from a low base, but our growth is very healthy indeed,” says Forrest. “The large majority of people purchase and consume premium whiskies at home and increasingly see e-commerce as a safe, reliable option. As an Ireland-based retailer, we have the advantage of being able to ship to both the UK and the EU. We are the most compliant online retailer of alcohol in Europe, collecting and paying taxes and duties locally across the EU every month. This means our customers, be they in the UK, Ireland, or Germany, can ensure their orders arrive seamlessly to their door with one payment at checkout.” 

As well as its online store, the brand is also committed to helping to bring special whiskies to audiences at home and overseas. Most recently, the brand brought an incredibly rare Linkwood 50-Year-Old to an event London restaurant Boisdale in September 2022, before bringing a collection of some of the most highly sought-after Irish whiskeys on the market to Darby’s restaurant for another St Patrick’s Day in March 2023.

The Single Malt Shop balances a specialist approach to its product range with a sales model that reaches consumers in more than 30 countries and a buying process that is simple for the paying customer. Alongside tasting events and special bottlings with the likes of Redbreast, Method & Madness, Teeling and more, this combination is crucial to the brand’s ongoing mission: to provide one of the world’s best selections of whisky to enthusiasts from around the globe.

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