Direct Wines, the world's largest home delivery wine merchant is investing £2 million on re-branding Bordeaux Direct. The name Bordeaux Direct no longer fits as the company now brings wine direct from all over the world to its 600,000 customers. In fact, the company now sells three times more wine from the New World than from Bordeaux.

Bordeaux Direct will be re-launched as Laithwaites on 20 September 2000, after its Chairman Mr Tony Laithwaite, who started the company in 1969 with just a small van and the idea of bringing wines of authenticity and character to the UK. The company now employs between 500-750 staff (dependent upon peaks in trading), with sales in excess of £132 million in the 12 months to June 2000. In just six years Direct Wines has multiplied in size six times, growing at over 30% compound per year. By June 2001 sales are expected to exceed £160 million.

To coincide with the re-launch, the website has been re-engineered and will go live on 20 September. www.laithwaites.co.uk will incorporate a number of significant improvements including 'wine click' for fast single-click ordering and a unique food and wine matchmaking facility. The website will tell consumers all they want to know about wine, offering a quick and efficient delivery service. Direct Wines is already Europe's largest wine e-tailer with orders expected to reach £10 million in its first year. The new website is expected to increase its overall market share even further.

Managing Director Greg Hodder says:-
"The wine world is changing at an awesome rate. Laithwaites as a brand offers us much more flexibility than Bordeaux Direct and will allow us to capitalise on the wealth of opportunities we face. We are the UK's largest and most successful independent wine merchant - passionate about wine and rock-solid in our commitment to customer service. The Laithwaites brand will reflect this position."