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December 17, 2006 | Direct-To-Trade | WineDirect Admin

On Truck Commercials, Football and Our Direct-to-Trade Initiative

We’d like to think that we’ve worked on our Direct-to-Trade program until we can’t get it wrong.

Certainly, the plaudits from the Internet community seem to corroborate that notion. In addition to some excellent mainstream press, check out some of the wine forums online and the feedback has been a mixture of, “It’s about time” to “Darn, what a good idea” to “Anything that allows small wineries access to my city is great.”

Spirited debate has also taken place in these forums around the three-tier system, as well. In many states, we choose to partner with small, boutique distrbutors that share our sensibility.

Inertia isn’t looking to undo the system in place with large distributors, it’s actually doing just fine undoing itself. Google “Costco + Washington + Wine” for additional information on what the #1 retailer of wine in the country is trying to accomplish.

On the other hand, Inertia is interested in ensuring that small wineries, many of our customers, have access to markets that were previously unavailable to them and that they have the opportunity to do so in a manner that allows them to retain margin to grow their business. If enough wineries grow their business the industry grows and if the industry grows, well, a rising tide raises all ships.

Really, it doesn’t take a doctor to figure out our program, but we’re pleased nonetheless that Dr. Stephen Reiss from the fine blog Wine Whines sees the value in what we are doing. Check out his post if you get a moment.

A little closer to home, I personally wrote on the direct-to-trade initiative on my blog, Good Grape, and our public relations counsel, Tom Wark, wrote about it on his blog, Fermentation.

As neatly summed up as the GMC maxim might be as it kicks off every football Sunday, we realize that our own work is something akin to a football game.

We’re developing state plans, state by state, and building on initial positive momentum–metaphorical first down after first down as we march down the field.

We’ll use this forum to periodically note progress as we roll out the Direct-to-Trade pilot program. We appreciate the support of our customers and the avalanche of interest that has been generated. We’re professionals here, helping other seasoned pros at our winery partners. If there’s anything we can do to help you, please let us know. Otherwise, we’ll continue to work till we can’t get it wrong.
 

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