September 13, 2011, 4:01 PM

1-800-Flowers sells winery fulfillment business

Buyer Inertia Beverage will fulfill for the e-retailer’s wine-gifting program.

Internet Retailer
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1-800-Flowers sells its wine order fulfillment business.

Flowers and gifts e-retailer 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. has sold its WTN Services division, which provides order fulfillment services to wineries, to Inertia Beverage Group. The sale is part of a strategic alliance designed to enhance both companies’ positions in the wine business, the companies say. Financial terms were not released.

As part of the agreement, Inertia Beverage’s new winery services business, WineDirect, will manage fulfillment and other services for WineTasting.com, the online wine-gifting business of 1-800-Flowers, No. 45 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. WineDirect will operate the WTN warehouse in Ohio, enabling wineries to store wine near the East Coast for faster delivery to consumers in that region.

The companies also plan to grow direct-to-consumer sales through joint marketing and promotional programs with other 1-800-Flowers’ brands, including 1-800-Baskets.com.

“This transaction enables us to focus on what we do best, provide great gifts appropriate for every occasion and recipient,” says David Taiclet, president of the gourmet food and gift basket division of 1-800-Flowers.com.

WineDirect offers a fulfillment system and e-commerce and wine club processing technology, along with telesales services for wineries.

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