FDBusiness.com

Irishman to Run Fast-Growing UK Wine Business

 Breaking News
  • Coca-Cola European Partners to Remove 4,000 Tonnes of Single-use Plastic by Swapping Shrink Wrap For Cardboard in Western Europe Coca-Cola European Partners, will be replacing plastic shrink wrap with cardboard for its can multipacks across Western Europe, removing approximately 4,000 tonnes of single-use plastic per year across the region. This is the latest move in Coca-Cola’s commitment to tackle packaging waste and remove all unnecessary single-use plastic from its secondary packaging. Plastic shrink wrapping is used [...]...
  • EU Leading in Global Agri-food Trade The EU has been confirmed for yet another year in its position as the largest global exporter of agri-food products, with sales reaching €138 billion in 2018. Agriculture products represent a solid share of 7% of the value of EU total goods exported in 2018, ranking fourth after machinery, other manufactured goods and chemicals. Agriculture and [...]...
  • Is ‘Flexitarianism’ the Future? A workshop held recently at the University of Nottingham has revealed that ‘flexitarianism’ is a new and growing trend amongst British consumers. Delegates at an event that discussed plant-based diets heard how eating more plant-based products represented a sustainable future for food and drink production. Organised by the Agrifood Training Partnership (AFTP), and chaired by AFTP [...]...
  • Chivas Brothers Opens New Head Office Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, has opened a new 27,000 sq ft head office in the centre of Glasgow. Jean-Christophe Coutures, chairman and chief executive of Chivas Brothers, says: “We need to keep moving with the times and this is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for Chivas Brothers [...]...
  • Unilever Achieves 100% Renewable Electricity Across Five Continents Unilever has announced that its factories, offices, R&D facilities, data centres, warehouses and distribution centres across five continents are now powered by 100% renewable grid electricity. As far as possible, Unilever’s transition to renewable electricity has been delivered through supporting the development of local renewable energy markets, with 38% of its grid electricity supplied through [...]...

Irishman to Run Fast-Growing UK Wine Business

February 03
12:01 2014

A 29-year old Dubliner has been appointed managing director of Britain’s fastest-growing wine company.

Eamon FitzGerald has been named as managing director of Naked Wines UK, the online wine retailing group, which had sales of €73 million last year, an increase of 67 per cent on the previous year.

Naked Wines was founded by Rowan Gormley, who previously set up Virgin Money for Richard Branson, and he continues to run the overall group, which is now also focused on expanding into America and Australia.

FitzGerald, a former consultant with Accenture, began as a wine blogger before starting to work for a wine trade magazine. As managing director of Naked Wines UK, he will oversee 105 staff and 140,000 customers, after joining the company two years ago.

“The crazy thing about the wine industry is the two most important people – the customer and the winemaker – are the ones getting screwed,” FitzGerald says.

“We’ve used the power of the internet to bring them together, so that the customer invests in the winemaker, the winemaker makes the wines knowing the wine is already sold, so you land up with a better product that costs less.”

Naked Wines, he says, also allows its customers interact directly with small wine producers to give them feedback and attend wine-tastings.

Naked Wines sells its wines at a lower cost than most competitors by not spending money on sales trips, traditional marketing or expensive packaging, Fitzgerald says. “By removing the selling, you can actually achieve the quality at a supermarket price.”

Duty hikes
Based in Norwich, Naked Wines is expanding outside the UK, led by founder Rowan Gormley, but has no plans to go into the Republic of Ireland.

“We don’t ship to the Republic at the moment – we are busy launching in the US and Australia. Minister Noonan with all his duty hikes isn’t making it easy either. But you never know,” FitzGerald says. Naked Wines has 5,000 customers in Northern Ireland, he adds.

In August 2013 the online wine retailer announced it had raised $10 million in a third-round investment from a German group of direct wine-selling companies and founder shareholders, in order to expand internationally.

Gormley and WIV Wein International AG, a €500 million family-owned German wine business, are its largest shareholders. The company has been reported previously to be considering a stock market flotation in the medium term. FitzGerald declined to comment on the company’s future fundraising plans.

He says working with Gormley has been a great experience. “Rowan is a really interesting guy. He set up three Virgin businesses for Sir Richard Branson, so I feel privileged to learn from such a figure.

“The great thing about him is he values attitude over experience. He put me in charge of a £35 million business aged 27 (before he was recently made UK managing director) with no experience of running a business, but I’ve learnt a hell of a lot, have delivered results and had a whole load of fun along the way.”

About Author

colin

colin

Related Articles

Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • October 1, 2019PPMA Total Show
  • October 17, 2019Future Food-Tech
  • November 18, 2019Plastics Caps and Closures Conference 2019
AEC v1.0.4

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here



Advertisements