Australia: Consolidation in the online-booze market

E-commerce liquor company Hairydog Group has acquired Australian alcohol delivery service Boozebud effective from Friday, 26 May 2023.

Boozebud, a company that stocked and delivered drinks across Australia was founded as BeerBud in 2014, and in 2018, was acquired by AB InBev’s innovation division ZX Ventures. In 2020, after CUB’s purchase by Asahi Beverages, BoozeBud was sold back to its founders but apparently the plan did not work out as planned and voluntary administrators took control of the business early this month and shut down sales.

With the new owner BoozeBud gets a second chance. Hairydog said the purchase presents a unique opportunity for both Hairydog and Boozebud. “Through this acquisition, we’re not just expanding our business footprint, we’re strategically aligning the strengths of BoozeBud’s advanced e-commerce capabilities with Hairydog’s proven retail expertise,” said Ryan Agar, Hairydog Group’s head of e-commerce.

To ensure a smooth transition, Damien Smith, the former Chief Technology Officer at BoozeBud, has now become part of the Hairydog team.

The company said the acquisition, which follows its purchase last year of wholesale business S&P Liquor, is poised to take Hairydog Group’s annual revenue past AUD 75 million, “driving incremental profitability and reinforcing its position as a dominant player in the online liquor retail industry”.

The Hairydog online store was created in 2020 to help the hospitality industry regain some of the financial losses of unused alcohol stock by providing the opportunity to buy it back, then delivering it directly to the public at affordable, competitive prices.

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