The Decanter Power List 2013

23 of 52
blank

29 Tony Laithwaite (20)
Chairman, Direct Wines, 67 The Sunday Times Rich List puts Laithwaite’s family at 410th richest in the UK. With a turnover of £350m, 50 million bottles shifted, 2,500 wines in stock, 1,000 employees and 200,000 new customers a year, Laithwaites is the world’s biggest mail-order business, operating the Sunday Times Wine Club, and owning Averys, Virgin Wines and Warehouse Wines. It has 11 shops, makes wines in France, has an education centre, and runs a mentoring scheme in McLaren Vale, Australia. Almost a quarter of the company’s business is in the US, where turnover has reached $100m (£65m). The wines are by no means always loved by critics but the head of the business is well respected.