Berry Bros & Rudd's broking service BBX has increased its sales volume by 13% in its second year of operation – and the 300-year-old wine merchant has built a new warehouse to house the extra wine.
Internet eclectic: Berry Bros
Over 90,000 bottles – £11.5m of wine – were sold on the internet trading platform between August 2011 and July 2012.
These included a six bottle case of 1999 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti which sold for £55,000 and a 12-bottle case of 1990 Petrus which went for £36,000.
BBX, which launched in August 2010, now has 4,500 customers, Berry Bros says.
The platform enables Berry Bros & Rudd’s (BBR) customers and other collectors to sell wine to enthusiasts and wine investors. It charges a lower commission than most auction houses, Berrys says.
The wine merchant has now spent £3m on a third wine storage warehouse , which will open this autumn with capacity for 2m bottles. BBR’s total storage capacity will be 8.3m bottles, or 815,000 cases.
Another advantage of the platform, BBR said, was in giving wine lovers an opportunity to find older and more eclectic wines such as old Burgundies, top Rhône and mature Spanish and Italian wines that ordinarily merchants would not stock.
Max Lalondrelle, fine wine purchasing director at BBRsaid, ‘We always believed … that buyers would want to be able to secure wines that rarely come up for sale in the retail environment.’
There are also plans to further develop BBX, creating what will in effect be a bid function on the site, enabling sellers to list wines on which they would be willing to accept an offer from other users.
A mobile version is also being developed.
Written by Adam Lechmere