With alarming reports that one-third of Australian wineries could go under from COVID-19 closures, WineDepot is throwing a lifeline to struggling wineries as they quickly pivot to online direct-to-consumer sales.
Australia’s 6,000 grape growers and 2,500 winemakers have been hit hard this year by bushfires, smoke taint and the lowest yield in seven years. On top of this, COVID-19 has had a negative impact on export markets, trade distribution, and cellar doors.
In response to these challenges, WineDepot has announced that it will be providing wine producers a support package of subsidised services to help them maximise their ability to trade during this challenging time.
“Never before have Australian wine producers faced a challenge like this,” said WineDepot founder and CEO Dean Taylor. “The silver lining is that consumers across the country are rushing to order wine and other essentials online for home delivery.”
This has certainly been true for Tasmania’s Josef Chromy Wines, who has been working with WineDepot to maintain strong sales during covid-19 closures.
“We saw a little bit of panic buying happening, particularly when the alcohol limitations started in some states,” said company spokesperson Amy Russell.
Other wineries, however have been slow off the mark. “We know of smaller producers who aren’t selling online and all of a sudden find themselves with no outlets at all.”
To support as many wineries as possible from going under, WineDepot is offering a support package that allows them to maximise their margins from online sales during this once-in-a-100-year event.
“Our platform allows wineries in regional areas to provide a fulfillment service that competes with that offered by the major retailers. With physical depots in each state of Australia, we manage everything so that a winery in Tasmania like Josef Chromy, can deliver the same or next day to customers in Sydney or any other capital city in Australia,” said Taylor.
WineDepot Cellar Door Support Package is valued at over $5,000 per winery and includes the following benefits:
- $500 free credit
- 3 months free storage
- Free initial stock transfer into bulk storage
- Delivery from just $7.95/case for metro areas
- Waived platform access, set up and integration charges, usually $995
This is available to all Australian owned and operated wineries, who establish an account and move inventory in before the end of April, with no lock-in contracts or requirements to continue using WineDepot services after the free storage period ends.
“Partnering with WineDepot means we’ve avoided quite a few overheads,” said Russell. “Sitting down here on an island, we have additional challenges trying to get freight off Tasmania, especially at critical times like Cyber Monday and Christmas. Now we have that little bit of an edge in terms of already having stock in market that we can quickly dispatch and distribute.”
The direct-to-consumer sales market is estimated to be worth over $1 billion per annum and employs tens of thousands of people around the country. WineDepot hopes to also help protect this source of jobs, revenue and amenity in regional areas.