|Costco starts selling wine online in UK|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Friday, 02 November 2012 16:20|
Wholesaler Costco has launched its UK ecommerce site, including its wine range, which is open to both members and non-members.
The site, which went live last week, goes beyond the range of products available in its warehouses and has expanded its “high ticket” range.
Some of the 88 wine products available include Taylor’s Scion Tawny Port in a bespoke crystal decanter for £1,599.99 (including VAT), while a 75cl bottle of Chateau L’Eglise Clinet 2009, is priced at £339.99 and a Chateau Pontet Canet 2009, 75cl at £99.99.
Just seven of its wine products are priced between £5 and £19.99; 21 cost between £20 and £49.99; 48 are between £50 and £99.99; 11 are between £100 and £499.99 while the Taylor’s Scion is the most expensive listed.
Garth Morris, costco.co.uk’s ecommerce director, said: “We’re very excited to launch costco.co.uk and hope to give to our members an expanded selection of new items, adding further value to their membership. We aim to be complementary to the warehouses, a welcome addition, and while published prices are for members only, non-members can now join the treasure hunt by paying an additional 5% surcharge plus VAT at checkout.”
Costco members have to qualify before joining up and are required to pay an annual fee. Delivery is free, and some exclusive offers will be made available to online customers only.
Independent wine merchant Jamie Hutchinson, co-owner of the Sampler, said the site’s launch would mean he “probably won’t stock the wines they do, if customers can buy them from there at a price we can’t match”.
Independent retailers have been “somewhat sensitive” to being priced out of online sales channels by wholesalers whose margins are smaller given they buy in large quantities. But Hutchinson said niche retailers still offer a point of difference for customers by dealing with boutique wine estates.