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Wednesday 23 July 2014

Costco to sell high-end wine in UK

5th November, 2012 by Lucy Shaw

The world’s largest wine retailer, Costco, is branching out into the UK market, having launched a UK website selling high-end wines and spirits.

Cristal 2004, one of the wines available at Costco.co.uk

Open to both Costco members and non-members, the site, which went live last week, features 131 different wines and spirits in its range, including Cristal, Krug and Dom Pérignon Champagne, and classed growth Bordeaux from the acclaimed 2009 vintage.

At the very top end is a 75cl bottle of Taylor’s Scion tawny Port dating back to 1855 housed in a bespoke crystal decanter, which is on sale for £1,599.99.

Meanwhile, a single bottle of Château L’Eglise Clinet Pomerol 2009 is priced at £339.99, while the same vintage of “flying fifth” Château Pontet-Canet is going for under a third of the price at £99.99.

“We’re excited to launch Costco.co.uk, and hope to give to our members an expanded selection of new items, adding further value to their membership,” said the site’s ecommerce director Garth Morris.

At the value end, a bottle of Saint-Julien estate Gruaud Larose’s second wine, Sarget de Gruaud Larose 2009, is priced at £18.49, while Haut Médoc estate Château Senejac 2009 costs just £15.49.

Among the sprits on sale are Patrón Tequila, P Diddy’s Ciroc vodka, Johnnnie Walker Blue Label whisky, Courvioiser Cognac and English vodka brand Chase.

Delivery is free, and Costo’s online customers will be treated to exclusive offers.

This May, Costco’s director of wine buying Annette Alvarez-Peters caused controversy when she slammed wines as “just a beverage” and “no different than toilet paper.”

Alvarez-Peters is in charge of over US$1bn in wine sales per year.

Meanwhile, as previously reported by the drinks business, discount chain Lidl has spent £1 million developing a range of wines and new in-store fixtures to cater for a “more affluent” customer in the UK.

3 Responses to “Costco to sell high-end wine in UK”

  1. But will it work? From the wine buyer’s comments in May it looks like a bit of blatant band wagon jumping. Surely Costco’s demographic won’t want to pay those prices. Nor is Costco likely to attract the sort of people who will.

    • Jouan says:

      I am a regular executive customer at Costco and even if I do not not buy wines from them ( I import direct from source as a wine merchant ) their wines are of very high quality from some really good producers from all over the world.
      Supermarkets , chain retailers and even lots of independent are way behind, sorry.

      Patrick Jouan MD

      Le Bon Vin Ltd

  2. scott stevens says:

    I used to be a Costco member – they had even ten years ago prices my ex-employers (Thos Peatling) can only dream of. The Scion port mentioned appears to be £900 a bottle cheaper at Costco than Peatlings’ own price. I used to buy Dom Perignon 1990 for only £49.30 inc vat at Costco – and I used to work for an investment bank at the time, so I can assure Andrew M above that the demographic of the (UK customers at least) includes people with money to spend.

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