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CEO Sergio Esposito Talks about the Launch of IWM Cellars : Inside IWM

The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

CEO Sergio Esposito Talks about the Launch of IWM Cellars

Posted on | February 25, 2010 | Written by Sergio Esposito | 4 Comments

When I co-founded Italian Wine Merchants in 1999, it was with a sincere belief that serious wine collectors and more casual enthusiasts alike would support a business offering absolute quality and personalized service. Fast-forward 10 years, and I’m proud to say we’ve proven our theory right. 2009 was a tough year for many industries, and the wine business at all levels has not been spared serious challenges to its bottom line.  However, it is precisely during such times when one’s chosen business model and strategy either proves its worth or exposes its weaknesses.  Now that we’ve closed our year, we’re proud to report that though it did not come without significant effort, IWM wine sales grew 21% in 2009.  People may not be spending as easily, but they continue to appreciate quality and service.

IWM remains focused on producers that can make quality wine no matter what.  For us, the response to the recession was not about reinventing what we do, but perfecting it, and so far it’s working.  The reserves and allocations we get from wineries have dramatically increased over time.  What used to be just a few bottles became cases, and cases became pallets and containers.

At IWM, we have always believed in continuous improvement, knowing that doing better every day for our clients is the best guarantee of success. As we go forth in 2010, what current and future IWM clients can count on from us is stability: in our unerring commitment to quality across the price spectrum; in our dedication to shaping long term customer relationships; and in our value-added services to deepen enjoyment of your wine.

Along with our unparalleled Portfolio Management team, IWM Cellars is our most dynamic and complimentary value-added service. IWM Cellars, our proprietary cellar management software, actively connects clients to all aspects of taking care of and engaging with their wine.  We continue to offer full, personal service to all clients and also host a robust online tool that users can enjoy as they live and evolve with their collections, whether 10 bottles or 10,000.  In these uncertain times, I see it as extremely important that IWM Cellars exists as a means for current and future IWM clients to maintain uninterrupted access to inventory, information and analysis. Over the next quarter, even more capabilities such as Current Market Valuation and Bar-coding will roll-out and underscore our commitment to regularly improve our offerings across all aspects of the business.

Finally, I want to thank our clients for their trust and their significant role in making IWM what it is today. I hope you’ll take advantage of our complimentary IWM Cellars and continue your great journey to enjoying the world’s best wines.

Comments

4 Responses to “CEO Sergio Esposito Talks about the Launch of IWM Cellars”

  1. Confused Reader
    February 25th, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

    According to this article, IWM’s sales in 2009 were up 21%, yet according to Mr. Espositio’s statement during the panel on the Future of Luxury Wine (http://www.vinography.com/archives/2010/02/the_future_of_luxury_wine.html) he claims that sales increased in 2009 by 15%. Which is true? Or does Mr. Esposito concoct figures at random whenever he wants to discuss his company’s growth?

  2. Sergio Esposito
    February 26th, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

    Thank you for your comment and for calling out the two different figures. I imagine it could be confusing, but please let me set the record straight.

    On February 5, during the Vino2010 Conference in NYC, I did indeed participate in a panel discussion entitled “The Future of Luxury Wine” with an esteemed group of presenters including Barbara Insel, Dan Berger and Joshua Wesson. As you’ve mentioned, the full account of my presentation was ably transcribed by Alder Yarrow who posted it on his popular wine blog, vinography.com.

    The 15% quoted during the panel discussion was a projection of the growth of our Portfolio Management wine sales while the 21% is an actual end-of-year figure that encompasses the full spectrum of wine sales growth at IWM, including walk-in retail and eCommerce. Coincidentally, this week’s IWM Cellars launch came at a time when we also definitively closed the books on our 2009 financial year. I saw it as an optimal moment to also report that, in fact, wine sales growth exceeded our expectations, clocking in at 21%, though given the climate of 2009, we would have gratefully enjoyed 15% as well.

    I regret any confusion and hope this clarifies things for you.

  3. MIKE ENNIS
    March 2nd, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

    SERGIO,

    JUST WANTED TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT I USE YOU WINE MANGEMENT SYSTEM EVERYDAY AND I LOVE IT. IT HAS REALLY HELPED ME MANAGE MY COLLECTION.

    IT WOULD HELP ME IF I COULD SORT THE ENTIRE COLLECTION BY DRINK DATE SO I DON”T ALLOW WINES TO PASS OPTIMAL DRINK DATE. I AM EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW BAR CODING PLANS AND I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO BE ABLE TO COMPARE PURCHASE PRICE TO CURRENT VALUE.

    LET’S GET “ER DONE!!!

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

    REGARDS,

    MIKE ENNIS,
    NASHVILLE, TN.

    PS. I”M GLAD YOUR SALES WERE UP LAST YEAR. I KNOW I CONTRIBUTED TO THE CAUSE.

  4. Sergio Esposito
    March 3rd, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    Mike,
    Thanks for your support and suggestions. Consider them done (as soon as I can find small branches and a match to light a fire under a few butts!). Glad you are enjoying the tool and I promise to keep pushing and improving the total IWM experience.

    My best,
    se

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