Naked Wines: Backing The Best Winemakers, While Successfully Challenging The Status Quo

Posted: Oct 30, 2020

A slide in a recent Naked Wines Plc (LON:WINE) investor presentation summarises the incredible progress the company has made since the onset of the pandemic.

It charts the change in wine ‘channel share’ from 5% online increasing to 20% in the US, revealing there had been a 20-year shift in buying habits in just one month.

You could make a joke about America drinking its way through lockdown, but that might be considered poor taste given the human toll the virus has taken.

Commercially, though, there is no doubting that some businesses are better equipped to withstand pressures of the new world in which we live – and prosper.

Naked is one prime example. It stands out alongside the other notable online success stories – Boohoo, ASOS, Ocado.

But there are other elements too. It is asset-light and, for what is ostensibly a retail business, it has a high rate of repeat business.

The Naked model merits close inspection for it is shaking up the international wine industry from grape to glass.

This is because the company invests in winemakers directly and will pledge to take a certain number of bottles based initially on how it thinks the red, or white will sell.

This relationship between winemakers and the retailer works on several levels.

It allows the former to do what they do best – concentrate on the viticulture.

So, there’s none of the stress associated with marketing and distributing a new product, for example. Naked takes this on.

By Ian Lyall
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