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Naked Wines relaunches online Marketplace

Published:  15 July, 2011

Naked Wines has relaunched its online Marketplace, which allows unknown winemakers to get UK listings, after mixed reactions from customers.

The retailer insists that the "principle and economics" of the platform remain exactly the same.

Following feedback from its core "archangels" customers, the forum will now invite one winemaker per week to pitch a parcel of their wines at a fixed price, rather than a variety of deals at negotiable prices.

As before, winemakers will still be able to pitch their wines directly to Naked Wines' 175,000 customers for a flat 10% fee.

Rowan Gormley, Naked Wines' founder, said: "The beauty of the internet is that you can prototype rather than speculate, which is exactly what we've done with Marketplace.

"We launched it in beta, analysed the facts and figures, and now we've evolved the idea to meet the demand. We've sold over £250,000 worth of wine since launching the platform just over two months ago, which is a really positive start, but customers were keen for us to scout out the best deals and do the negotiating on their behalf."

Carmen Stevens, the first winemaker to be promoted on the new platform added: "The Marketplace is a neat way for me to introduce my wines to the UK market, and raise the funds I need to fund my own project. Fixing the price and volume means everyone gets what they bargained for, and by selling directly to customers, the cost savings are considerable."

In just a few hours, over 2,000 of the company's Angels pledged to support Stevens by pre-ordering over £120,000 worth of her wine, raising the capital she needed to set-up her own business.

Stevens, who currently works for the American-owned Amani winery near Stellenbosch, was overwhelmed by the response and speed of the deal, which allows her to start a solo career. She will make new wines exclusively for Naked Wines including an Angel's Reserve Chenin Blanc and an Angel's Reserve Shiraz.

Su Birch, chief executive of Wines of South Africa, added: "Carmen has beaten all the odds to get where she has today and is a fantastic role model and inspiration for other young South African winemakers."