Single malt scotch fans, rejoice! The Macallan has just launched its first ever E-Boutique. It will enable consumers across the US to purchase bottles directly from the brand’s website. This includes difficult to find labels, including Sherry Oak 25 Years Old, Reflexion and even the M release—which can run upwards of $7500 in certain markets. Throughout the month, shipping is included for free. And 30% of all sales will be donated to the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good campaign, helping independent restaurants survive financial hardship brought on by COVID-19.
Shipping direct to consumers is tricky business in a country that effectively operates 51 separate sets of laws depending on the state (or District) you call home. As a workaround, The Macallan became the first major scotch brand to partner with Thirstie Inc. The technology instantly connects shoppers with local retailers, providing access to the inventory of their nearby bottle shops and allowing for prompt shipping—and even same-day delivery where available.
“With the launch of The Macallan E-Boutique, we have created an online destination for consumers to explore the world of The Macallan like never before,” said Samantha Leotta, the brand’s director for American markets. “[Working with] Thirstie Inc. allows The E-Boutique to provide educational touchpoints, immersive technology and an accessible and shoppable experience all in a singular place.”
Earlier this year a trio of brands—including Conor McGregor’s Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey and Ten To One Rum and Ramona Organic Wine Spritzes—became the first in the adult beverage space to adopt the innovative online model. But this week’s announcement from The Macallan marks the first time that a luxury spirits brand has hopped on board the trend. It’s as clear a sign as any that digital marketing continues to supplant traditional hand-sales in the ‘new normal’ associated with the coronavirus era.
The so-called ‘super premium’ sector—bottles priced above $40—traditionally benefit from the consumer being able to touch and feel the product, particularly as so many of them incorporate intricate bottle design and packaging. The Macallan consumers, however, very much know what they’re after at this point. The Speyside scotch producer dominates the high-end and is overall the second best selling single malt in the US, behind only The Glenlivet.
The new E-Boutique model is likely to boost its sales across the board, from it’s most modestly prices 12 year old expressions (retailing at around $70) all the way up to crystal decanters fetching more than 10x that amount.
“Thirstie is thrilled to be partnering with an extraordinary brand like The Macallan, and the incredibly passionate consumer base that comes with them,” said Thirstie CEO Devaraj Southworth. “By making The Macallan products available for purchase via their own website, Thirstie is uniquely-positioned to provide the brand with an even clearer understanding of that passionate consumer base.”