Italian wine bar & merchant in London ready to expand.
INVESTMENT SOUGHT: £250,000
PRODUCT(S) AND/OR SERVICE(S)
The UK is one of the biggest markets for Italian wines (over £1.7 billion per year).
Italy has an incredibly interesting variety of grapes and wines: from the well known Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, Nero d’Avola, Primitivo, Barolo, Chianti to hundreds of lesser known but very distinctive ones like Albana, Vermentino, Franciacorta, Barbaresco, Morellino, Falanghina, Greco di Tufo and many more.
Vini Italiani is entirely dedicated to giving UK wine lovers the best Italian wine experience they can get in retail, wine bars and online. We enjoy a multi-channel revenue approach: wine bars/stores, online and wholesale all focused on helping the UK market appreciate and discover the huge variety and quality of our wines.
The founding team (all Italian wine lovers) believe that by having an undivided focus on Italian wines the company can build a brand which will be recognised and identified as the leader in promoting and commercialising Italian wines in the UK.
The company has been operational since the end of 2011 when we opened our store in South Kensington.
In 2013 we launched our website at the enviable internet address italianwines.com, launched our wholesale operation in London and added the wine bar to the store at the end of the year. We have also become a main supplier of Italian wines to Ocado, where we run our own-branded “shop in the shop” (http://bit.ly/vini_italiani_ocado)
The company has already achieved some important results: we have built a very loyal customer base and have already been recognised as the undisputed leading Italian wine merchant in the UK. In only two years we have gone from just over 20,000 bottles sold in year one to 100,000 and just shy of £1M in revenue in 2014.
Now that we have fine tuned our format (wine + food + retail) we are ready to open more wine bars/stores in Central London. This will generate economies of scale thanks to centralised costs for admin, marketing and logistics.
This funding round would help us open a new location in a key strategic location (depending on availability and price): the City, Mayfair, Covent Garden or Marylebone.
SUBSTANTIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE
We have been recognised by the leading trade press and international wine bodies as the top Italian wine store and bar in the UK:
* Currently 5 stars and number 202 out of 18,173 restaurants in London on Tripadvisor (3/2/2015)
* Best Top Merchant Online Retailer of the Year 2014 – Finalist (Harpers Awards)
* Specialist Merchant of the Year: Italy 2014 – Shortlisted (International Wine Challenge)
* Specialist Wine Merchant of the Year 2013 – WINNER (Decanter WWA)
* Innovator of the Year 2013 – WINNER (Harpers Awards)
* Best Merchant of the Year 2013 – Finalist (Harpers Awards)
* Best New/Emerging Drinks Business of the Year – Finalist 2013 (Harpers Awards)
* Specialist Merchant of the Year: Italy 2013 – Shortlisted (International Wine Challenge)
* Best Innovation of the Year 2012 – WINNER (Decanter WWA)
The business generates revenues with varying margins from its sales channels:
* Wine bars + retail
* Our website italianwines. com
* Wholesale to London restaurants and bars
Depending on the distribution channel, we typically expect gross margin on our wine sales to vary from about 65% to approximately 15%.
Wine bars & food enjoy the highest gross margin with wholesale having the smallest.
USE OF PROCEEDS
We are now ready to open a new location in London as we have the platform, experience and resources to easily replicate the successful wine bar in South Kensington. We have pretty much everything ready (branding, menus, wines, uniforms, formats, online presence, etc). We need to find a suitable location, carry out the refurbishment works and open for business.
This investment is in the whole company and not just in the new wine bar. This means you will participate in any future growth from any of the activities the company will develop.
SPECIAL PERK: If you invest a minimum of £2,000, you will also enjoy a massive shareholder discount of 20% on our range of products and services including wine, events, wine bar lunches or dinners, online orders, wine trips for as long as you hold your shares.
The market for Vini Italiani is anyone drinking wine in the UK. As the proposition is articulated over multiple channels, we aim to grow our sales via the wine bars, our website and the wholesale efforts.
In particular, the next wine bar is planned to be located in an area in Central London characterised by:
* high foot fall
* medium to high average disposable income
* adjacent to other bars/restaurants and entertainment venues.
* focus on wine + food to maximise gross margin
Italian wines are generally high quality and medium priced making them very attractive to anyone who likes wine.
CHARACTERISTICS OF TARGET MARKET
Italian wines are the fastest growing segment in the wine industry in the UK.
The market share has grown from 14.97% in 2012 to 16.85% in 2013 principally to the detriment of French wines (dropped from 38. 22% to 35. 53%).
The total value of Italian wines imported in the UK in 2013 was £534,000,000 (France £1,126,000,000 and Australia £288,000,000).
UK Trade data shows that for the period January – May 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, Italian wines are the only growing segment against the top 4 (France, Australia, Spain, and Italy). See table below:
Growth Jan-May 2014 versus Jan-May 2013
The strong, undivided focus on Italian wines is our main marketing card. We have already started building a strong brand around our expertise and integrity in selecting and promoting great value Italian wines in the UK.
Our strong focus on quality editorial content, courses and encounters with producers in our venues, clever and expert use of digital channels is how we believe we can build a strong recognition in the market.
Customers recognise and appreciate authority when it comes to complex and fragmented products like wine.
We have also built a good following on the main social networks, a large customer database and strong ties with the press. All of these we intend to leverage to promote our new venue and all the initiatives we have in mind for the future.
The key company values are:
1. Passion for the product
2. Excellence in service both off and online
3. Expertise and authority of the Italian wine ecosystem
We believe that these will be the key elements which will help us establish a strong brand and a loyal customer base.
We have already proven we can deliver a superior experience to our customers across all channels: number 127 and 5 stars on Tripadvisor, Top Italian Wine Merchant of the Year 2014 – Decanter.
We intend to carry on on this track.