High spirits at Eden Mill as sales rise during lockdown
St Andrews based distiller and brewer, Eden Mill, has seen its sales increase by 9% during the coronavirus crisis-hit April to June 2020 trading quarter.
E-commerce and online revenue also increased by 600% compared to the same quarter in 2019.
Against a backdrop of bar, hotel, restaurant, duty-free and own shop closures the company bucked the trend completely and grew revenue to £2m, delivering a record £800k net profit for the April to June 12 week trading period.
At the peak of the coronavirus affected period, Eden Mill was despatching over 1000 parcels per day from the new Glasgow Gateway distribution centre as online fulfilment was brought back in-house just prior to lockdown in late March.
Adapting to the new consumer environment the company also ran a series of virtual gin tastings and cocktail masterclasses with over 4000 gin lovers paying for the Eden Mill “at home” experience.
Bolstered by strong partnerships with key multiples and an early return to export markets such as Russia, Germany and Australia the company counter-balanced the lack of “On Trade” business, together with revenue from Eden Mill’s own shops and experiences, to deliver the April to June market-beating performance.
Eden Mill plans to continue and develop its portfolio of “virtual experiences” as consumers emerge from lockdown with new social drinking behaviours forecast to remain in place.
At the same time Eden Mill has re-structured the strategic management of the business. Co-founder Tony Kelly has taken over as CEO who, with a focus on sales, operations and digital marketing, will be keeping the day to day business ‘on task and delivering shareholder value’.
His co-founder, industry expert, Paul Miller will be concentrating on the development and construction of ‘Scotland’s first carbon neutral single malt whisky distillery’ which is being built at Eden Campus at Guardbridge, St Andrews.
The distillery campus will also house a brand-new Eden Mill Visitor Experience. The new facility is on track to be distilling by end of 2021.
Tony Kelly commented: “While e-commerce has always been a fundamental pillar of our multi-channel distribution model, the unprecedented crisis we have found ourselves operating in has forced us to accelerate our strategic plans and adapt to the new environment.
“Changing consumer behaviour during the coronavirus crisis has been a catalyst for us to fast track our plans while the flexibility and marketing nous of our team has delivered increased sales, market share and brand awareness. The great set of financial results achieved in the last quarter will also now enable us to retain more of our team post furlough and to push on, unhindered by COVID-19, with our distillery development.
“We could not have achieved these results without the skill, imagination and resilience of our sales, marketing and operations team during these challenging times. Together with our new distribution centre and new distillery coming on stream in 2021 we are now in a strong position to provide greater capability to build our business, give us greater control, and most importantly satisfy future customer demand in a growing market.
“I would like to thank all of our suppliers, customers and most importantly my Eden Mill colleagues for their support, dedication, innovation and hard work during this historic period we have all been living through.”
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