Craft beer retailer Beer Cartel is closing its Sydney bricks and mortar store after more than 10 years and will shift to an entirely online model as it moves into a larger warehouse nearby to support business growth. The five time winner of Beer & Brewer‘s Online Retailer of the Year award did say that it wasn’t ruling out having physical stores in the future.
With the lease coming to an end at their current Artarmon location, co-founder and director Richard Kelsey said now was the right time to move into larger premises in nearby St Leonards to accommodate the growth their online business had experienced throughout the last three years, including that of sister company Brewquets that sells beer hampers.
Richard said “the requirement of the new site and licensing restrictions” meant having a bricks and mortar store was not possible.
“Our move to the new site… has been done to realise the efficiencies from bringing our two business units, Beer Cartel and Brewquets, back into one warehouse,” he said.
“During the past three years driven by Covid we’ve seen significant online growth and as a result had to move the Brewquets business into a separate warehouse to keep up with demand. With our lease at our current Reserve Rd site coming to an end we have found a new warehouse which will support the business for the next five to 10 years.
“We’d like to say a big thanks to all the customers that have come to support the store from when it first opened in 2011 to now. When we first started online sales of alcohol in Australia were small. It was the support of those that came to the store that helped keep us moving forward during the early years.”
While Beer Cartel has been based on Sydney’s North Shore, Richard said they saw people come from as far away as the Blue Mountains and Central Coast “which was very humbling”.
“There’s been lots of familiar faces and relationships that we’re definitely going to miss, but we’re not going away, we’ll be looking at bringing more of the offline side of the business online.
“We’ll be looking at options for (physical store models) going forward and see if there are any opportunities to open a store, including partnering with others in the industry.”
The last day of operation of Beer Cartel’s store at its Reserve Rd site will be New Year’s Eve.