Diageo closed its luxury e-commerce site, Alexander & James, in 2017

Diageo looks set to launch an online retail initiative called The Corner Shop.

The spirits giant has applied to register the name with the Intellectual Property Office as a class 32, 33 and 35 trademark, for “online retail services connected with the sale of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and beers” and “online promotion of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages”.

The Corner Shop would mark a step back into direct online retailing for Diageo, which closed its luxury e-commerce platform Alexander & James in early 2017 after a “strategic review” of its online strategy.

The news comes amid an upswing in big brands looking to sell direct to consumer - the most notable being Unilever’s razor subscription service Dollar Shave Club, which made its debut earlier this month with a pop-up store in Old Street, London.

PepsiCo, meanwhile, launched its plastic-saving Drinkfinity soft drink pods this week via a similar model, with the product available only through the brand’s website.