San Francisco-based Wine.com is no longer an online-only purveyor of wines. The eight-year-old company, originally named Virtual Vineyards, launched a print catalog this month. President/CEO Peter Ekman says that Wine.com will mail about 220,000 catalogs throughout November.
“If online businesses focus just on their Website, I don’t think many will reach their potential,” Ekman says. “There needs to be something that supports the Web business.”
Targeting corporate gift-givers, Wine.com rented lists of law firms, mortgage brokers, dentists, and purchasing managers in large companies. It is also mailing about 70,000 catalogs to gift recipients of Wine.com orders during the past 13 months. The 16-page catalog includes high-end bottles of champagne, sets of red and white wine, wine accessories, and memberships in wine clubs.
“Wine.com is in a perfect position to become a major player in wine catalog sales,” Ekman contends. “Most companies start with catalog sales and then struggle with the question of fulfilling orders. At Wine.com, we already have [broad] distribution. The catalog simply is another avenue that lets people explore great wines and consider them as gifts when they are offline.”