The Wine Society was founded in 1874 as a non-profit maximising co-operative. This means that it is owned solely by its members, sells only to them and exists purely for their benefit. Member satisfaction is paramount; maximising profit is not. Since there are no external shareholders to consider, any surplus trading profits are used to enhance The Society's services and the value of its wines.
It also means The Wine Society can enjoy some unique benefits:
- The eight-strong buying team has the freedom to buy not for profit, but for quality and individuality.
- The Society doesn't just buy wines for immediate sale but also buys them to keep (in perfect conditions) until they are ready to drink.
- The tastings team doesn't merely visit parts of the country where events pay for themselves, but where there are enough members to make for a successful evening.
- The Society's own fleet of vans delivers to over 60% of members.
- Perhaps most importantly, The Society is able to reflect good trading results by reducing the price of wines in Society Lists and offers.
The Society's objective hasn't changed since 1874: it is co-operative in every sense and is based on introducing members to the best of the world's vineyards at a fair price. A share in The Wine Society means life membership of a unique club. There is no annual subscription and no obligation to buy. A share may be passed on to family or a friend after a member's death.