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Online sales give lift to mail order

Published:  23 July, 2008

Were you sent flowers this Valentine's Day? Maybe you ordered a present for your loved one via the Internet, or perhaps you had the ingredients for a special meal home delivered. Chances are that, even if you didn't, you have used - or will use - your computer for buying goods and services.

Maybin at Berry's supports the argument that fine and rare wines will be the strength of mail-order wine in the future, particularly for larger merchants and wine clubs that can provide reliable warehouse facilities and distribution networks. This area has shown more growth than anything and will grow even more as people choose to buy wines to lay down, as well as their drinking wines.'

Even supermarkets such as Waitrose have noticed an increase in people trading up through its Waitrose Wine Direct mail order, particularly for the 2005 Burgundy offer and Bordeaux en primeur campaigns.

Delivery is another important factor, particularly in the capital, where there are many people without cars and even more retailers without carparks. The convenience of having a case or even just a special bottle sent direct to you, wherever you are, is invaluable. Mail-order companies will deliver to your home, office, neighbour or any nominated location for the specific time you wish,' says Maybin. Making life easier for the customer is what mail order is all about.' Bloom agrees. Gone are the days when we posted out offers and order forms then waited for a response from the customer, then they waited for us to put a case together and send it out. Now it's almost immediate; it would rarely take longer than a week for a delivery and you could have it the same day.'

So, if you forgot to buy Champagne for Valentine's Day don't worry, you're not completely in the doghouse. Get on to your wine merchant now and order a case for delivery today - you can always blame the Royal Mail for it being a few days late.