Scottish gin and whisky distiller Eden Mill has named co-founder Tony Kelly as its new CEO, following a surge in online sales during lockdown.
In his new role, Eden Mill says Kelly will focus on sales, operations and digital marketing. He will replace co-founder Paul Miller, who is turning his attention to the development and construction of the company’s carbon neutral single malt whisky distillery.
The distillery will be built at the Eden Campus in Guardbridge, St Andrews and allegedly marks a first for Scotland. It will also house a brand-new Eden Mill visitor experience which should be in full operation by the end of 2021.
Kelly’s appointment comes as Eden Mill celebrates a 9% growth in year-on-year sales during its April to June trading quarter. Despite the lack of on-trade business, early return to export markets such as Russia, Germany and Australia, in addition to online sales, saw the company post £2 million in revenue. During this period, the company’s ecommerce and online revenue increased by 600% compared to the same quarter last year.
In adapting to the new consumer environment during lockdown, Eden Mill also launched a series of virtual gin tastings and cocktail masterclasses, available to those across the UK. The distiller plans to continue and develop its portfolio of virtual experiences as it believes consumers’ new social drinking behaviours will remain.
Newly-appointed CEO Tony Kelly said: “While ecommerce 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”.
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