SOUTH AFRICA: WineWays.com bites the dust
WineWays started out as the flagship division of the Converge Group, operating as a "click and mortar" operation. Besides its dotcom site, it also operated an ultra-modern wine centre near Stellenbosch, where it had hoped to attract a portion of the millions of visitors to the Cape's winelands each year.
Speculation is the company's debts are as high as SAR27m but Craig Hawthorne, a Cape Town-based liquidator, who is managing the process, said he could not verify the amount as a forensic audit was still underway.
WineWays ceased trading almost to the day, one year after opening its doors and the liquidators were only able to salvage a paltry SAR580,000 from the assets auctioned at the wine centre. The various batches of wine only fetched about SAR25,000 of the total.
The Converge and WineWays concept was a dream that was probably ahead of its time for South Africa, trying to incorporate a multi-faceted approach to tourism, wine marketing, sales, distribution and information technology.
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