USA: eVineyard Exports Wine to Japan

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eVineyard today announced that it will be the exclusive wine retailer serving the Japanese market through the online portal ShopUSA@nifty when the site launches on October 23, 2000. eVineyard will be taking orders and shipping wine by early November.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for eVineyard," said Chief Marketing Officer Brett E. Lauter. "The Nifty partnership, the company's first foray into overseas sales, provides an unprecedented opportunity to reach one of the world's most wired shopping audiences in a country that has demonstrated its affinity for California and other wines."

Nifty is the largest Internet provider in Japan, logging over 8 million unique visitors per month. Operated by Nifty Corp., the company is a fully owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited. The portal is expected to become a powerful driver for the high-profile U.S. companies on the site, where eVineyard is joined by L. L. Bean and, among others.

In 1998, California wine exports to Japan grew 134% to $93 million. "If eVineyard can capture just one percent of that business, we will be very pleased with the results," said Tom Heller, eVineyard's VP of business development. In fact, the company hopes to capture even greater revenues in the market, where it will be distinguished by a selection of more than 1000 wines.

The logistics for the wine exports are very straightforward according to Heller. Wines purchased through ShopUSA@nifty will be categorized in Japan as "personal imports," the criteria for which is an individual purchase of foreign manufactured goods directly through overseas mail-order companies, retail stores and manufacturers for personal use. Limitations of quantity are at Japanese Customs discretion, which typically is most concerned with ensuring that goods are not for resale.

Wines will be shipped to Japan via airfreight from eVineyard's Hayward, California, logistic center. The recipients will be responsible for all applicable shipping charges and duties.

About eVineyard

The leader in the B2C wine market, eVineyard ( legally serves wine buyers in 25 states--more than 70% of the United States market for off-premise premium wine sales. With its eight current logistic centers and the imminent opening of two additional centers, eVineyard will soon sell premium wines to each of the country's top 10 wine markets, reaching over 75% of the market and serving 27 states. With the recent acquisition of and its related technology, eVineyard is positioned for expansion in the B2B space. In addition, eVineyard will soon offer wine accessories in all 50 states through its recently announced marketing and fulfillment alliance with The Wine Appreciation Guild.

eVineyard offers a selection of over 5,000 domestic and imported premium wines and has exceptional features such as online education, promotions and loyalty programs, sweepstakes events, a wine club and free shipping with purchases over $25. eVineyard's superior selection and delivery capabilities have led to growth averaging more than 150% per quarter since launch. The company expects to achieve profitability in 2001.

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