Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh have spent their whole lives in retailing, having grown up helping out at their parents' wine and spirits merchant 'The Nest' in Hanwell – a family business that started out in the drinks trade in 1972, and was named 'Off-Licence of the Year' in 1992.
By the mid 1990s Sukhinder, the elder of the brothers, was already in possession of a very large collection of whisky, having started collecting miniatures in the mid 1980s and progressing to full-size bottles a few years later.
When their parents decided to retire in 1999, the brothers took the difficult decision to sell the family business and founded The Whisky Exchange. Operating from a trading estate tucked away on the outskirts of Hanwell, The Whisky Exchange was exactly as the name suggests - an online portal where whisky fans can buy, sell or swap the bottles listed.
With supplier relationships that had been built up over decades at The Nest, the range of new products and other spirits such as cognac, rum and tequila available from the TWE website kept growing and growing.
But the company's real point of difference was, and remains, its enormous collection of old, rare or discontinued bottles of whisky, amassed from years of patient collecting. The sources for these bottles can range from long-term clients that wish to dispose of their personal collections to speculative calls or walk-in customers who have found or inherited a dusty old bottle in a relative’s cellar or attic.
When these people do internet searches on their discovery, or call auction houses to try and ascertain the value of their bottles, they are usually referred to The Whisky Exchange and Sukhinder, whose knowledge of older bottlings is encyclopedic.
The past few years have been a period of rapid expansion for The Whisky Exchange. In 2006 The Whisky Exchange relaunched the web site and moved their warehousing and office premises from their original home in Hanwell to a much larger facility in Park Royal.
This enabled the company to expand their office staff and further improve their service and online presence. The move has been a great success, providing a platform for the company's continued growth and expansion.
The results have been remarkable, with TWE consolidating our position as the world’s biggest and best specialist online whisky retailer, performing well ahead of expectations despite the economic turbulence of the past few years.
In late 2014 the website was totally redesigned and is now fully responsive, making it both mobile and tablet-friendly. Navigation was enhanced, allowing visitors to find products more easily. In addition, flavour and style icons have been added to our most popular whiskies, giving customers a better idea of how a particular whisky tastes.