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E-store to offer 6,000 Italian wines to UK consumers

An Italian online wine retailer which has just launched in the UK market is set to make its entire 6,000-strong wine portfolio available to customers on these shores.

Tannico founder Marco
Entrepreneur Marco Magnocavallo, who launched the Italian online wine retailer Tannico in 2012

Tannico is Italy’s leading online wine retailer with 40,000 customers and 15% of the market share. Founded by entrepreneur Marco Magnocavallo in 2012, the company is now targeting other European markets, with the UK its first major focus.

The company plans to warehouse up to 500 wines from all over Italy in the UK – many of which are not yet represented in this country – offering delivery to customers within 48  hours.

Tannico has pledged that by the end of 2016 its entire Italian catalogue of 6,000 wines will be available to import directly from Tannico’s Italian warehouse – which it claims is the largest single selection of Italian wines available to UK consumers – with a delivery schedule of approximately a fortnight. The wines will also be available to the trade.

More 250,000 bottles were sold in 2015 and the company has already achieved an impressive 50% return customer rate.

Marco Magnocavallo has previously set up a number of successful start-ups, such as Blogo, an online vertical publishing business, and Boox, a start-up accelerator.

Tannico was launched in 2012 with a €200,000 seed investment from Boox. Six months after the business launch, a further €500,000 was raised from Italian ‘angel’ investors. Then, between September and October 2016, the company raised €3.8 million to expand abroad.

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“I have a passion for start-ups,” Magnocavallo said of the decision to launch the business.

“I decided I wanted to create a new Italian start-up in the retail sector. I chose wine because, one, Italy is one of the world’s largest wine-producing countries with over 100,000 wineries, and, 2, the Italian online wine market was at only 0.2% of penetration with huge opportunities for growth over the next few years. In just three years, the company became Italian market leader.

“Italy can seem complicated for consumers, with so much to offer from so many regions. We aim to position Tannico as the leading online shop for the Italian wine enthusiast, at any level of knowledge.

“I feel Italy is under-represented here in the UK when it comes to small producers, and I will bring these directly to the market, through an easy to use, factual and enjoyable online retailing platform.

“Later this year, we launch the entire catalogue available to ship from Italy, which will contain over 6,000 different bottles. If you’re seeking a Barolo – we will have more than 70, whereas other UK merchants may only have up to five.”

In 2015, Tannico launched a new line of business focused on small wineries, called Piccoli Produttori, in response to increasing consumer demand for niche, artisanal wines. Currently Piccoli Produttori comprises more than 200 producers representing 10% of sales.

The online retailer aims to provide an educational and aesthetically pleasing buying experience. For each wine, the site provides tasting notes, appellation and varietal information, awards and scores, food pairings and winery description. UK delivery is competitive: within 48 hours from a North London warehouse, with free shipping over £89, or £6.95 if under.

The UK website replicates the Italian model, which uses intellectual technology, including IA algorithms, personalisation, and one-to-one emailing. In late 2016, Tannico will also launch Tannico Intelligence. This is targeted at wineries and consorzi and will help wineries to better understand the dynamics of the online market, with data available regarding their brand and products.

This will include pricing around Italy, who is buying their wines and where from, brands they are similar to, and comparisons with other brands.

Following its UK launch, Magnocavallo plans to expand the Tannico business into Switzerland and France in 2017, with a target of achieving €40 million in revenue by 2019, half of which from outside Italy.

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