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Torres plans major expansion in China

Torres China plans to double the number of its Everwines shops on the Chinese mainland this year.

This is part of a three-year development plan for the Spanish company: by the end of 2013 it intends to have 62 Everwines retail outlets.

These will either be independent shops – of which there will be 21 – concessions within department stores, or branded shelves in major grocers.

Everwines is a division of Torres China – part of the Spanish Torres group – covering wine retail, education, wine clubs and other distribution channels.

It has over 200 staff in six offices around the country, with a turnover of €16.5m in 2010 – that sum an increase of 39% on the previous year.

There are at four shops at present, two on Chengdu, one in Xi’an and the latest, opened last week, in Shanghai.

Torres China, of which 10% is owned by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, will open four new shops before the autumn.

These will be in the major cities of Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanning and Nanjing, and openings are scheduled at a rate of roughly one a month until August.

The biggest growth area, Alberto Fernandez, managing partner for Torres China told Decanter.com, is ‘group delivery’.

‘This if very big in China – providing wines for festivities like Chinese New Year, and for corporate gifts. One company might buy €150,000 of wine as gifts to customers over a holiday period.’

Main everwines outlets carry some 300 lines from producers including Torres, Vega-Sicilia, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Drouhin, Symington, Egon-Muller, de Bortoli, Chapoutier and Henschke.

Its major competitors are distributors ASC and Summergate – the latter brings in Antinori, Hugel and Beaucastel producer Perrin – and Chinese wine retail giant Aussino, which carries Sassicaia.

Major sellers, Fernandez says, are French wines. ‘Last year, 46% of sales were French, of which 80% was Bordeaux.’

The Chinese bought 7.5m cases of French wine from Torres China in 2010, followed closely by Australia (2.6m cases), Chile (1.24m), Italy (1.16m), the US (1.05m), Spain (1.02m).

In 2010 Torres China had a 1% share of the imported wine market.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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