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"Wine superstore" launched on eBay

Published:  10 August, 2016

A one-stop shop wine store has been launched on eBay with the goal of rivalling Amazon's recent foray into the online wine marketplace.

The Grape Foundation's Paul Anthony Gidley, along with two partners, have worked in partnership with eBay to create Worldwine Vines, which has its eye on the 17m visitors to eBay and Paypal in the UK every month.

Launching this week with an initial listing of 130 wines, the initiative is a store-within-a-store for brands, offering a platform for both established retailers and producers wanting a foothold to sell their product.

"A lot of wines are sitting in storage not being sold. The UK is a hard market to crack. We've been talking to wine consultants and saying 'here's a home for you'," Gidley, the company's CEO, said.

Virgin Wines is the first major retailer to be partnering with the site to be announced, with five other major retailers due to follow next week according to Gidley.

Taking the view that wine is the last big online marketplace yet to be fully harvested in the UK, Gidley says that the partnership with eBay was a no brainer.

"If you look at the ID of an online buyer and the ID of an eBay user, they are 67% identical. The online wine buyer is already an eBay or Paypal customer," he said.

"eBay started selling cars just a few years ago - now they're selling one every 20 seconds. There is vast potential for wine growers here."

The online retailer and bidding site recently launched eBay Wine, its first wine specific store in the US.

Worldwide Vines was created in partnership with eBay, and according to Gidley, is a gateway project foreshadowing eBay setting up its own wine-dedicated section of the website, which Gidley is also assisting with.

The team are hoping to rival to Amazon which has recently launched its Prime one-hour delivery service in the US and has a wine store in the UK.

"Amazon is approaching wine half-heartedly, but eBay has been behind this 100%. I've been amazed by their passion," Gidley said.

While critics might say that this model will lead to homogeny within the trade - Gidley argues that' this is not their objective.

He said: "We don't want to gobble up everyone else's identity - it's the opposite. We're saying 'this is your space within our space'. We're the conduit to helping you to work in this market place."

Logistics will be determined on a case-by-case basis, with some companies using their own storage and delivery channels and other occasions when Worldwide Vines will use their own infrastructure.