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ASC Fine Wines shutters Shanghai Wine Residence

Published:  06 January, 2016

ASC Fine Wines, the China-based fine wine importer, has closed its Shanghai Wine Residence, which offered retail, dining, cellaring and private tasting services to the company's clients.

Membership of the 6,500 square foot club began at $12,000, although its retail operation was also open to members of the public.

Full membership, which included access to storage facilities, cost $24,000.

The closure has been driven by shifts in market conditions in Asia, and in particular the slow-down in fine-wine sales.

The South China Morning Post reported at the end of last year that fine wines were being sold off at below cost - or being left to go bad in poorly conditioned warehouses - as the market contracted.

ASC plans instead to focus on its e-commerce platforms and expanding its operations into China's smaller cities.

Bruno Baudry, ASC's chief executive, said, "Due to the market changes of the last three years, we have to make the decision to close down the Wine Residence Shanghai to focus our resources on the development of our core business.

"We are most grateful for all the support we received from the members and customers along the years and although the Wine Residence will be there no more, ASC's unwavering commitment to providing the best possible wine and wine services to its customers will continue to stand.

"ASC Fine Wines is ever so committed to the premium fine wine category; it is in our DNA."

Baudry, previously of Castel and Cordoníu, replaced John Watkins as ASC's chief executive at the beginning of June.

Co-founder Don St Pierre Jr resigned from the company at the end of 2015.

The company's Beijing Residence closed its doors in June 2014.

The company moved its headquarters to the Shanghai Wine Residence in June last year.

ASC Fine Wines is a subsidiary of Japan's Suntory Group.