Nick Wall

Birmingham-based Tails has created a new category in drinks retail with its pre-mixed cocktail brand. Founder Nick Wall tell us about his inspiring idea

Just a few years ago, if you wanted a fruity alcoholic drink, you’d have to push your way through the hoards of underage drinkers to find the alcopop section. The beer and wine drinking British public has always been a tricky place for those who wanted something a little more exotic, but for entrepreneurs such an issue is to be viewed as an opportunity. Nick Wall saw the growing popularity of cocktails in bars and restaurants and realised it had business potential. “Cocktails were becoming increasingly popular and I thought there was a huge gap in the market for a premium brand,” says Wall. “People wanted cocktails but couldn’t have them, unless they were at a bar or had a big drinks cabinet and mixologist skills.”

MARKET TAILS

 So Wall created Tails, based in Essex Street, Birmingham and its pre-mixed cocktails can now be found in top-end boutiques and department stores throughout the UK. However, Wall spent a lot of time researching the market, sourcing the right spirits before creating a brand, which would carry the right appeal. “It took about two years to get to market. We spent around six months working with a branding agency creating Tails the brand.”

 NEW CATEGORY

 Tails took grant funding from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and eventually the business came to market in July 2010 with an exclusive deal with Selfridges. Tails now sells its Cosmopolitan, Mai Tai, Espresso Martini and Elderflower Collins at stores such as Harvey Nichols, Heals and John Lewis. “When we conceived of this the category didn’t exist, however now it is growing rapidly. I believe consumers want authentic and quality cocktails and my aim has always been to ensure we do that consistently.” But does Wall believe his drinks are as good as you can get in a bar? “If you go to a great bar with a great mixologist you can have a great drink. But the one advantage we have is that we are always consistent and I always aim to make sure our drinks are among the top 15%.”

IN FOCUS

  • Company: Tails Ltd
  • Founder: Nick Wall
  • Established: 2008
  • Staff: Six
  • Turnover: £460,000
For more information visit www.tailscocktails.com