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Ruth Yates joins expert online panel for Harpers debate at PLB Manchester tasting

Published:  21 February, 2014

Ruth Yates, the award winning independent wine merchant who runs the Corks Out chain across the north west, is the latest name to join the Harpers panel looking at opportunities for online sales and retailing at next month's PLB independent roadshow tasting in Manchester on March 5.

The debate will look at how different retail players and service providers are looking to capitalise on online retailing in both the independent and multiple sectors.

It will include Steve Mosey, head of BWS at Morrisons, who will talk through Morrisons' new wine and spirits offer as part of its first mainstream grocery website launched in January, and the Morrisons Cellar dedicated drinks site launched last year. Ben Stephenson of Hangingditch in Manchester will look at how it is successfully marketing its events, tastings and special promotions through its website and building a wider consumer base through social media.

Yates will look at how she has used technology and grown her website to be able to offer a national next day delivery service of her wines in the UK.  

The debate will also look at how service providers are giving operators in both the on and off-trade new ways to enhance their customers experience with the team behind Orderella that allows diners or drinkers in bars and restaurants to pay for their food and drink from their mobile phone at the table. The debate, to be chaired by Harpers editor, Richard Siddle, takes place at 2pm at the Manchester tasting at the People's History Museum. 

It is part of activity to support the PLB regional roadshows that will also take in Edinburgh on March 4, which it is co-hosting with Hatch Mansfield, and London on March 6.

Venues for the tastings are Edinburgh, March 4 at The Balmoral Hotel, 11am-4pm; Manchester, March 5 at the The People's History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, M3 3ER, 11am-4pm; London, March 6 at One Great George Street, SW1P 3AA, 10am-4pm.

Former World Sommelier of the Year, Gerard Basset MW, MS OBE, will take part in a Q&A session at the London tasting on how wine companies can better engage with the on-trade sector.