WINE INDUSTRY INSIGHT
EMAIL EDITION - VOLUME I, NUMBER 128 - October 23, 2009
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AMAZON PULLS PLUG ON WINE?
While Amazon has not officially confirmed its exit from the field of direct wine sales, numerous executives in the wine trade have received an email this afternoon, purportedly from Dini V. Rao, Amazon's Senior Account Manager for Business Development - Wine.
Unless the email turns out to be a hoax, the unexpected exit of America's largest online retailer leaves scores of potential Amazon partners in a lurch.
Wine Industry Insight has not been able to confirm the authenticity of the email (below), just that it has been widely sent to people involved with the Internet giant's wine effort. WII called Rao's direct line and the message said she would be away on vacation until Oct. 27.
WII also contacted Amazon's media relations department but was unable to locate an actual person to speak to. Our voicemail had not been returned by publication time.
The collapse of New Vine Logistics, may have spelled the beginning of the end. By September, according to insiders familiar with the situation, Amazon had begun to distance itself from New Vine/Inertia Beverage Group as a fulfillment partner.
This left other fulfillment partners -- who have been concentrating on their own businesses -- less eager to "get into bed" with Amazon, especially since it has been seen as dragging its feet and unreasonably stringing its partners along.
At the same time, the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission had been applying increasing pressure on the business model. As a result, one insider said, "instead of popping the cork, they pulled the plug."
DINI RAO'S EMAIL
From: "Rao, Dini" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: October 23, 2009 1:00:46 PM PDT
Subject: AmazonWine update
Dear friends of AmazonWine,
I am very sorry to let you know we have recently decided not to resume shipping. As you know, we were excited to work with you to build the AmazonWine business. For that reason, this was a very tough choice for us.
Many of you took the time and leap of faith to really support us.
Thank you so much! I am sorry that we won’t get to realize the vision on which we have collaborated. Be well and may we work together again soon.
Dini V. Rao, DWS
Senior Account Manager
Business Development - Wine
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Phone: 707-326-4503, fax: 707-940-4146