We began this adventure in 2004 so this month we celebrate our 10th Anniversary, 2004 to 2014. It has been an interesting journey but the best is in front of us.
I turned my back on the old ways of retail as many wine producers had got too big and lost interest in what they sold. All they talked about was volumes and deals and I saw the end game for wine was in sight as the 'fast moving consumable goods or FMCG' crowd took over. These representatives were not interested in wines and were employed to pander to the chains which by 2003 ran the show and preferred constant supplies of wines which never varied, like all the other foods they stocked. The large producers and giant retailers were bound to collude and they have, as the chains get all of the deals and set the rules.
This outcome is not too bad for most consumers who just want a decent bottle for dinner but those who think about wine should be increasingly worried. This new order does not leave much for the 2000 plus wineries which dot our country side and what they should do I do not know.
Glug thinks wine should be approached as an adventure, a journey which forever unfolds. Alas consumers all too easily fall into the trap of buying favourites. If or when this happens your journey has ended. It is what the big companies want as they wish to develop brands which deliver exactly the same flavour vintage after vintage so that customers have no need to try anything else. If this happens you have been trapped by 'brand power'.
Imagine going shopping and being drawn, like an iron-filing to a magnet, to the same brand you purchased a few days ago. It seems natural to do this as the last bottle was delicious and since those you shared it with applauded the selection why not take home the same again and again. Wine after-all is a complex thing and for a busy shopper life must seem too short to fuss over the thousands of different wines on display.
At Glug we love the differences and like the green grocer our selection changes with what we find. We then preserve these differences with each of our bottling.
Back in 2004 I was working for Coles Liquor and the worst aspect was losing contact with customers. Something had to be done so Ben came on board and secretly hoisted the Glug flag in the Barossa in early 2004 while I continued to grab the money in Sydney and did not join him full-time till I was sacked in mid-2005.
I have known for a long time that the only retail business worth having is one that talks directly with customers. To do this properly you need to know the origin of what you have for sale and explain to customers why they should give it a try.
Glug has closed this loop as we know every detail about every wine we sell, we deal directly with customers we like, while we hope our customers see the beauty in dealing directly with the maker and wine-merchant of what is sold. We have many exciting new releases this month which are all part of the journey Ben and I have mapped out for Glug customers.
Please enjoy our 10th Anniversary Celebrations.