Hong Kong online wine retailer Slurp.asia is planning to open an office in Singapore by the end of next month.
Explaining the decision to extend its services to the small city state, Slurp.asia managing director Tom Chamberlain cited a fast-growing interest in fine wine which he said was reminiscent of Hong Kong a few years ago.
“We are so excited about Singapore… There is such energy, passion and enthusiasm for wine – just like Hong Kong when we first arrived,” he commented.
Chamberlain, who will lead the new project, said that Slurp.asia plan to replicate their Hong Kong model in Singapore, offering local enthusiasts fine wine brands, niche and rare mature bottles, as well as entry level wines through the online platform.
He also announced the appointment of Sabrina Hosford, formerly of Altaya Wines, as sales director for Slurp.asia, describing her as “one of the most respected and experienced business managers in the HK wine trade.”
Slurp is not alone in embracing an emerging wine market in Singapore.
Earlier this year we reported an increase in the number of merchants setting up offices in the state, noting that Singapore has just 100 wine suppliers serving a population of 5.3 million, compared to an estimated 350 catering for Hong Kong’s seven million people.
Chairman of UK merchant Berry Bros & Rudd, Simon Berry, described Singapore as “a hub for southeast Asia”, while Wealth Insight has recorded that the number of US dollar millionaires in Singapore doubled to 183,000 in the five years to 2012 and is expected to rise to 291,000 by 2017.
As we reported late last year, Singapore-based logistics company, CWT, is building a 750,000 square foot wine storage facility in Singapore – mostly to cater to private clients, including those from Indonesia who may want their wine closer to home than London, Geneva or even Hong Kong.
Slurp.asia is independent of Slurp.co.uk, which was placed into administration in July 2013 before being bought by Banbury based wine business SH Jones in June.
Slurp Asia was separated from the UK-based online wine business in 2011, although the majority shareholder of the Hong Kong operation is Jeremy Howard, who was also CEO of Slurp.co.uk before it was bought by SH Jones.