First Quench hires GUS boss for direct sales role

First Quench, Britain’s largest drinks retailer, has recruited Great Universal Stores (GUS) marketing director Elaine Round to head home shopping operation Drinks Direct.

She joins as director of new business development and home shopping this month. Round’s remit is to build sales through the direct business and Wine Rack gift delivery service, as well as to increase online purchases.

After working for both Littlewoods and JD Williams, she became director of marketing and customer services at GUS’ family hampers division.

Round says: “Home shopping is a multi-million pound business for First Quench and it represents a significant growth opportunity. Co-ordinating all the elements in the mix so they work hand in hand is critical to its success.”

She will also oversee the development of First Quench’s Martha’s Vineyard chain, Firkin off-licences and Home Run franchise.

Formed last year through the merger of Thresher’s and Victoria Wine, First Quench has 2,652 shops.

Round will report to marketing and buying director Ralph Hayward, who says the company aims to build its home shopping division into a &£50m business within the next few years.

First Quench recently reorganised its home shopping operation – bringing the sales and marketing functions together under one department.

Whitbread has announced plans to sell its 50 per cent share in the business, which it owns jointly with Punch Taverns.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here