bbb drinks establishes a subsidiary in France to service e-commerce
We have great news! We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to set up a subsidiary company in France – bbb France is now Live! As of two weeks ago, we secured a warehouse facility in Paris and we are now able to import and distribute spirits in France. Our first step will be to facilitate sales of a few of our brands on Amazon France and then further distribution with selected partners.
Following the success of managing and growing our portfolio brands on Amazon (2000+ bottles old in the past 6 months), we had looked to target other neighbouring markets via e-commerce.
It became clear last year that, following Brexit, customers in EU markets would not be able to buy our brands from Amazon UK, or indeed any other online retailer who had traditionally shipped overseas. This prompted us to consider the option of setting up an EU based company to facilitate sales into mainland EU Amazon markets.
We started the process of setting up bbb France last year and had our French company formed in early 2021. Things tend to move a little slower in France, but eventually we gained our all important VAT number and bank account in spring. In June we secured our warehouse partner….. Good things come to those who wait indeed!
Why we think bbb France a good thing
This whole process has certainly reminded us of the ‘law of unintended consequences’:
‘The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people — and especially of government — always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended.’
While Brexit has been a huge upheaval for our industry, creating many ongoing negative consequences around logistics, we feel that this is a big opportunity for bbb to expand our footprint when it comes to e-commerce. We will trial the model in France, and, if successful, will push into other key EU markets such as Germany, Italy and Spain.
The advantage for drinks brands working with bbb will be that we can rapidly and easily sell spirits into all of the key markets in Europe via e-commerce. We hope to have solutions to move into on and off trade further down the line. The growing use of e-commerce is already being seen in mainland Europe, closely following the already established trend in the UK. People will increasingly turn to buying premium spirits online in Europe.
The other advantage of e-commerce for brands is that you can gain brand awareness for relatively low cost. There’s no need for a Brand Ambassador and sales teams in the initial stages, just presence online and an effective social media campaign can start to get you traction.
We are still very much at the early stages of this process, but we are all excited about the potential that can be unlocked in the coming years. We believe that our service will be attractive to both UK based brands and those from abroad as we create a network that brands can easily, and cost effectively plug into. I hope you’ll join us on this journey!