Berry Bros & Rudd Ready to Meet Wine Exchange Demand
While the interior of the Berry Bros & Rudd’s famous store in London has changed little since the shop was opened more than 300 years ago, the family-owned fine wine merchant has successfully adapted to the modern era with their successful online wine exchange. The internet age has prompted the development of this round-the-clock trading facility which allows investors to buy and sell fine wines from each other online. Computer-savvy wine collectors and traders have embraced the wine e-commerce approach which is now generating a growing demand for wine “in bond”. In an effort to meet investors’ interest, Berry Bros & Rudd has had to open a new wine storage centre this autumn, The Times reported on 1 October 2012.
!m(/uploads/story/490/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)The capital’s oldest wine merchant launched Berrys’ Broking Exchange two years ago as a way of allowing customers that hold wine “in bond” at its storage cellars to trade with other investors. With the quickly increasing popularity of the service, Berry Bros has had to expand its wine storage room in order to meet exchange enthusiasts’ demand. The 314-year-old company is now investing £3 million in a third wine storage warehouse, where bottles can remain in a professional, temperature-controlled storage facility that can keep them in pristine condition, protecting their value. Berry Bros’s new storage centre is set to open this autumn. An extra two million bottles of wine will be stored there, taking total capacity to 8.3 million bottles, or 815,000 cases.
According to The Times, citing information from Berry Bros’s fine wine purchasing director, Max Lalondrelle, 91,668 bottles of fine wine have been bought and sold on the company’s exchange platform between September 2011 and August 2012. During this second full year of online trading, sales volumes have increased by 13 per cent, with more than 4,500 people trading wines. Meanwhile, the value of wine on the exchange is up 2 per cent, reaching £11.5 million.
Mr Lalondrelle told The Times: “We believed that fine wine collectors would welcome an alternative to the auction houses as a way of realising the value of their wines. We also believed that buyers would want to be able to secure wines that rarely come up for sale but are held in our state-of-the-art cellars.” He added that the fact that the wine bottles are stored in the company’s warehouses contributes to customers’ confidence to use the online trading service, safe in the knowledge the value of their purchase will be preserved.
Earlier this year, Berry Bros & Rudd chairman Simon Berry told The Guardian that the family motto is “never stop changing”. He added that a family business should be able to adapt in order to remain. Proving its policy, Berry Bros, is successfully adapting to the internet era. In 1994 the family-owned company became the first wine merchant to launch a website and over the years it has embraced not just online wine trading, but also blogging and social networking.
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