Asahi Beverages has sold its online alcohol retail business BoozeBud back to its founders.
BoozeBud was founded as BeerBud in 2014 by Alex Gale, Andy Williamson and Mark Woollcott. It changed its name and focus to include wine and spirits in late 2015. Carlton and United Beverages purchased the business two and a half years ago, with CUB then being sold to Asahi Beverages earlier this year.
The founders of BoozeBud take back control from today.
Asahi Beverages made the decision to sell BoozeBud following a review of the CUB eCommerce participation strategy, which was developed before Asahi Beverages purchased CUB.
“The new strategy will focussing on selling its products through its retail customers, securing visibility for its brands on customers’ digital channels and working with other customers, including on-premise, to develop their online presence,” Asahi said.
Asahi Beverages undertook the review of CUB’s current eCommerce participation strategy after CUB was acquired in June.
Since CUB purchased BoozeBud, the site has grown to over 250,000 customers and revenue has grown more than 500%.
BoozeBud Founder Andy Williamson (above, second from right) said: “We’re delighted to own BoozeBud once again. Over the last two and a half years the business has grown more than six times and is now the leading pure-play online alcohol retailer in the country.”
“We always ran the business under CUB ownership so nothing will change for our suppliers and customers who are now preferring to shop online more than ever before.”
Asahi Beverages Group CEO Robert Iervasi said: “While our broader eCommerce participation strategy continues to evolve, it was decided that now was the right time to sell BoozeBud. We look forward to working and winning together with all our customers, including in the online space.”
Concerns about direct sales
CUB faced criticism earlier this year from publicans and retailers over its online strategy.
A CUB spokesperson responded to Brews News saying: “Like most businesses in a rapidly evolving market CUB constantly reviews its business strategies, including ecommerce. We are assessing our ecommerce strategy during the second half of 2020 to determine whether it’s right.”