A SCOTTISH-based drinks deals website featuring the offerings of high-end retailers has attracted about 200,000 unique visitors in its first year in full operation, and is targeting further expansion.

Leith-based business www.thedrinkscabinet.co.uk, set up and owned by web entrepreneur Rafael Cueto and launched officially at the start of 2012, has the UK as its main market, but has also proved popular in the US, Germany, and Japan.

It now aims to attract 500,000 new unique visitors by the end of 2013, while more than doubling its number of participating outlets from eight to 20.

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Mr Cueto, who owns website design company Crush, is now hiring a manager for the drinks operation.

The venture offers customers access to more than 100,000 different wines, beers and spirits as well as news of the best deals from participating outlets.

Retailers, including John Lewis, Oddbins, Majestic, Blackwell, Wine Hound and Gifts Drink and smaller, local outlets, are offered the opportunity to showcase their drinks catalogues to customers around the world.

The website provides news and advice to customers and is linked to social media. It derives a commission from every product sold through the site, while also making revenue from advertising.

Mr Cueto revealed the business had been launched by chance after Crush developed a dummy as an example for a client who wanted to launch a business-to-business customer site for another market entirely.

He declared his drinks deals website was now enjoying "phenomenal" growth, and that the time was right for expansion.

Mr Cueto said: "The site was launched to demonstrate to the client some of the live functions. Then it got abandoned, until one day we realised it was being hit by lots of genuine traffic so we decided there might be a viable business in it.

"The whole point is to create a platform where the drinks industry can showcase their product, knowledge and experience."