Berry Bros & Rudd reports early success on wine trading hub

Berry Bros & Rudd reports early success on wine trading hub

Berry Bros & Rudd has said that its new online wine trading hub has beaten early sales forecasts.

Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR) has reported GBP1m (US$1.6m) in sales from the online broking service since introducing it in August. Charlie Bennett, a spokesperson for the London-based wine merchant, told just-drinks that sales have "surpassed expectations".

The service is akin to a wine version of eBay. It allows registered users, who own wine held in BBR cellars, to sell to other BBR customers at their own chosen price. BBR takes 10% commission on all sales.

Bennett said that he expects sales to increase over the coming months. "We have 18,000 wine stockholders on our books and only 1,200 of those are currently registered sellers," he said this week. "We hope to add more wines from older vintages. At the moment, we don't have much for sale pre-1996."

High-end Bordeaux wines, and particularly the much-vaunted 2005 vintage, have been the biggest sellers so far, he added.
BBR helps customers to value their wines via an evaluation service that harnesses information from Liv-ex and Wine-Searcher. Bennett said that more tools for the service were in development, to help the company to fend off competition from the expected emergence of rival trading hubs.

Privately-held BBR said in August that net sales from continuing operations dropped by GBP1m to GBP253m in 2009, reflecting lower demand for fine wine during the global economic downturn.