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Wine.com’s Fiscal Year Sales Rise 25% As E-Commerce Channel Booms

May 14, 2020

With wine’s e-commerce channel seeing marked expansion lately, online retailer Wine.com posted sales up 25% to $165 million for its fiscal year ended in March, with the $33 million yearly increase marking the largest in the company’s history. Since the end of the fiscal year, sales have continued to accelerate, with revenue leaping 350% year-on-year to more than $40 million in the month of April. On a 12-month rolling basis through April, the retailer’s revenues soared by 47% to just under $200 million.

Wine.com’s free shipping membership program, StewardShip, has been a key component of its growth, reaching revenues of $100 million on a 54% gain in the 12 months through April. CEO Rich Bergsund said the $49-a-year program has been especially popular among new shoppers, who are signing up at double the normal rate. The company also pointed to two other areas—mobile ordering and interest from younger consumers—as contributing to the strong performance. Mobile revenue was up 55% over the past 12 months, bringing in $65 million, while sales from Millennials and Generation Z jumped 77% to $50 million.

The company has been expanding its operations to meet this explosive consumer demand. “We’ve hired over 500 people onto our operations, customer service, and live chat recommendations teams, while moving to same-day shipping, operating seven days a week, and implementing strict distancing, cleaning, and safety protocols,” noted Bergsund.

Looking forward, Wine.com expects to maintain its new consumers even after social distancing restrictions are lifted. According to a survey of over 1,000 new customers completed in April, 86% of respondents said that they were sometimes, mostly, or always buying wine online during the pandemic, and 88% expect to continue to do so going forward, compared with 24% prior to the crisis.—Shane English

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