Winedelivered aims to be the “net-a-porter for wine”
Winedelivered.co.uk – which is the supplier of celebrity wines including Kylie Minogue’s wine range – wants to be the “net-a-porter for wine” as it looks to celebrate turning over £1m in its first year of trading.
The website was founded by Madeleine St Clair in January 2020 and currently lists a range of Benchmark Drinks’ wines, and although Benchmark is listed as Wine Delivered Limited’s majority shareholder, with St Clair also owning a 25% stake, the two businesses are run as separate entities.
With a background in luxury good and fashion, St Clair said there was a big opportunity for a curated multi-wine website that not only offered “great service and the best wine”, but also included a lifestyle element that is missing from a lot of wine websites.
“I wanted to create a net a porter of the wine industry which it was missing,” she explained. “A lot of the other sites are dry and heavy, and you can get this discount or that offer, but coming from a fashion background, I wanted to create a lifestyle brand where the photos are beautiful, the offering is unique as well as great value, with really quick service to make it easy for people to buy the wines.”
Although the onset of Covid-19 came shortly after the business was launched, St Clair argues that small size and flexibility of the business helped.
“Being small, what was beneficial is that we were able to move very quickly and pivot to where the market demands us to be – we didn’t have the heavy infrastructure that might slow down some bigger companies so we were pretty quick during lockdown,” she explains.
Partly as a result of the boom in ecommerce, the business has grown quicker than expected.
“When you start a business, you dream of success, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as successful as it has been so quickly,” St Clair notes. “We’ll turnover a £1m this year.”
“Although online accounts for 90% of the business, 10% is through telesales, which St Clair says helped her to get to know a lot of her customers better.
“I think having exclusive products really helps us and has helped up growth the business,” she adds.
Winedelivered.co.uk currently lists Kylie’s wine range, Sir Ian Botham’s wines, wine from Howard Park, Estancia Mendoza and Sarah Jessica Parker’s wine range, as well as wine-related and complimentary gifts (such as Sir Ian Botham’s chocolates) and hampers, but St Clair says there is an opporutnity to extend this in future.
It has also just launched an app but as the business grows and life has returned to a semblance of normality post-pandemic, St Clair is keen to venture more down the lifestyle approach, as well as looking to supply consumer event.
“When we started we had a function for wedding and events,” she explained. “We were going to offer a service to provide wine for your wedding or function and an MW to help you taste and pick the wines for the event, but 2020 wasn’t the best time, so maybe that will pick up and be more of a focus going forward.”