February 1, 2002, 12:00 AM

Wine.com by eVineyard blows away its holiday predictions

Sales at Wine.com by eVineyard grew six-fold during the holidays from a year earlier and exceeded Wine.com’s most optimistic expectations by 200%, the company tells internetretailer.com.

 

When Wine.com by eVineyard beefed up product selections on its web site, it was hoping to improve holiday sales. But it didn’t just improve them, it blew them out of the water, Wine.com tells Internet Retailer. Sales at Wine.com during the holiday shopping season were six times what they were the year before. “Christmas went very well for us,” says Brett Lauter, vice president and chief marketing officer. “For the holidays, we were 200% over our optimistic forecasts and 400% over what our forecast actually was for sales.”

Lauter says Wine.com achieved profitability in December and that the next goal for Wine is to sustain profitability from month to month. “That’s what really counts,” he says. He notes that the company expects to be close to profitability for Q1 even though it is typically the slowest part of the year for wine sales. And Lauter says the second, third and fourth quarters also look good for profitability. “But we’re not going to blow our own horn yet,” he says.

Wine.com attributes its sales volume increase to its marketing partnerships and new product lines. “We did a lot of great things in terms of partnerships that were mutually beneficial for both parties and didn’t cost a lot of money,” Lauter says. In the fall, Wine.com announced combined gift baskets with Harry and David as well as joint products with Dean & DeLuca. The addition of personalized etched wine bottles and personalized labels also helped boost sales. Corporate gifts and sales of fully stocked wine cellars-both high-margin opportunities-helped round out its strong holiday sales performance.

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