Conviviality is eyeing a move to open pop-up Bargain Booze shops at music festivals across the UK as part of plans to diversify the business.
The group, which also owns the Wine Rack fascia, piloted its first pop-up shop at the Isle of Wight Festival last month, following its acquisition of outdoor events specialist Peppermint.
Customers were able to order alcohol online and collect it from the shop at the campsite, offering festival-goers a convenient alternative to travelling with heavy cans and bottles.
Conviviality boss Diana Hunter said there was “absolutely no doubt” that the pop-up shop would return to the festival in 2017 and insisted there was “definitely an opportunity” to open similar sites at other festivals across the UK.
”We took £65,000 across the three days at the festival and there is absolutely no doubt that we’ll do it again”
Diana Hunter, Conviviality
Speaking after Conviviality unveiled a surge in full-year sales and profits, Hunter told Retail Week: “We’re very excited to be working with the team at Peppermint.
“We already trialled – and trialled successfully – a Bargain Booze pop-up at the Isle of Wight Festival. We took £65,000 across the three days at the festival and there is absolutely no doubt that we’ll do it again.”
She added: “It’s a very, very exciting part of the business. Festivals are in growth, we all hear about the different festivals that are happening across the summer, and Peppermint are excellent at it.
“It’s really important for our suppliers who want to get their products into these big festivals where thousands of people are.”
Conviviality’s bricks-and-mortar estate posted contrasting fortunes during the year ended May 1. Its Wine Rack fascia registered a 3.2% uplift in like-for-like sales, but its Bargain Booze stores dragged Conviviality Retail like-for-likes down 1.3%, although this marked an improvement on the previous year’s 1.7% decline.
Hunter said Bargain Booze stores that opened since 2012 were “in positive like-for-like territory”, but older stores dented performance.
“You have to continue to improve for your customers. Our focus is very much on our franchisees and helping them with their retailing skills and their marketing”
Diana Hunter, Conviviality
Conviviality, which has also acquired drinks suppliers Matthew Clark and Bibendum during the past nine months, is pursuing a strategy to improve the quality of the estate and strengthen perceptions of its fascias and brands – and despite hailing a “transformational year”, Hunter believes that work will be ongoing.
“You can never, ever believe that you’ve stopped working on it – particularly in a market like ours in the UK, where food retail is as good as it gets,” Hunter said.
“You have to continue to improve for your customers. Our focus is very much on our franchisees and helping them with their retailing skills and their marketing.
“I’m not sure that you’d ever hear me say that the job is finished and we’ve done enough, because we have to keep improving.”