Robin Copestick, co-founder of Copestick Murray
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. So said Churchill, and I think he was right. Obviously, there are lots of things I don't like dealing with in our business: rising duty, oversupply and rising transport costs being just a few of the downers. But, there are lots more reasons to be cheerful. We've got more people drinking wine, more people interested in wine, retailers having to fight harder with better ranges to get shoppers to shop with them.
Of course price is critical, but it is not the only factor. Quality is still firmly on the list, as is NPD. In the last month alone we have launched quality wines from Bierzo, Gran Reservas from Carinena, Pinot Noir from Romania, good Californian wines ranging from £10 - £5 and a red from Bordeaux. Even we were surprised by the last one.
Of course there is still too much wine sold on promotion but retailers have the power to change this - and they are doing so - through more interesting ranges and innovative merchandising solutions. There's a long way to go, but we are seemingly on the right road. Retailers are opening up to innovation: we need to create better products and they need to list them. We all have to understand our customers better, without losing the guts to take a risk.
Horrible as it was to see another high street name go under, it does open up possibilities for better shops to open in their place with more creative ranges and firmer pricing strategies. Clearly, we can't afford another Oddbins/First Quench fiasco. We've got to toughen up and get on with the job in hand. That means selling better wine to more people. If we focus on quality, listen to retailers and consumers and push the boundaries on innovation, we can all grow. Being a glass-half-full kind of company, we intend to have fun whilst we're doing it.
Robin Copestick is co-founder of Copestick Murray