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Amazon.com to Enter the Fray That is the Wine Business

Wine
09.15.2008

Amazon

This story has been building for awhile, with many details yet to come, but it is becoming obvious that Amazon.com will offer wines for sale on their site sooner than later.

This could potentially revolutionize the way wine is purchased and explored by consumers as well as the way it is sold and marketed by producers.

If, and this is a big if, Amazon can navigate the running joke better known as the endless laws regulating alcohol distribution in the United States in a way that makes sense for consumers, they may just pull it off.

There is something about Amazon doing this that sets them apart from other Internet wine retailers: Amazon is something that people already understand and are not intimidated by, putting it in a position to turn current customers onto its wine offerings. Users don’t have to open new accounts and are able to buy from a company they have already built trust with.

According to Reuters, Amazon is looking to sell wine in 26 states, and is currently approaching regional associations about working together to assist wineries with getting their wine online.

This collaboration in itself is pretty exciting and something I think regions and producers will really respond to.

The article also says that only a small percentage of U.S. wine sales currently comes from online sales, with big factors being “partly due to the expense of shipping wine, and confusing states rules on wine shipments”.

I’m excited to see how this effects the mega-ultra-super distributors of the world that continue to inbreed and consolidate into some mutated 1984 corporation controlling all of the world’s fine beverages. This situation has been begging for some balance for a while, and hopefully Amazon can provide some of that much needed balance.

Stay Tuned…



Comments

  1. Mike Duffy | Monday, September 15, 2008

    The fulfillment will be handled by New Vine Logistics (NVL), which navigates the various wine laws in the 26 or so states where Amazon will be able to sell wine. Participating wineries face a $400 “setup fee” to deal with the legal filings for each wine they sell. After that, they consign the wine to NVL (i.e. send them a couple of cases of wine), and the rest happens automagically.

    This is really a big deal for consumers, and I plan to try it as soon as it becomes available.

    PS – Amazon Prime members get free shipping (2 bottle minimum).

    PPS – check out more on this on my blog (posts for 9/12 and 9/11).



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