Thanks to your terrific support during the pandemic, we’ve mostly held and even reduced some prices over the winter and into spring. The Society is under the same inflationary pressure as all businesses, but our mutuality means we’re able to keep prices low and offer better-value services for members.
We are now in a position to become a virtual wine rack for members, where you can enjoy free next-day delivery. You also have the option to hold wines with us in reserves, giving you more flexibility.
Free delivery on all orders until 12th September
We are now offering free delivery on all orders, with no minimum spend, until Monday 12th September. And with our next-day delivery service (including Saturdays), it’s an excellent opportunity to explore our range, make some new discoveries or treat someone to a bottle.
The free-delivery period for small orders is a trial, and is also operationally complex, so we will carefully monitor its progress. We want to make delivery free on all wines and all quantities, because we want to give our members the maximum flexibility when it comes to buying wine.
Working hard to hold prices
Our non-profit-maximising business model, coupled with your fantastic support, means that overall, our bottle prices have been going down, not up, over the past year. However, we expect cost price pressure to continue, so it’s only fair to let you know to expect to see some prices going up in the summer.
The most notable example is the 2021 Burgundy vintage, where volumes were down by 50%, which has resulted in significant cost increases. Unfortunately, this means our much-loved Society’s White Burgundy will increase in price from £9.95 to £12.95 in May. We will be offering members some delicious alternatives – new Chardonnays sourced from other French regions, including the Rhône and Languedoc, as well as a French blend created by our expert buying team.
We will always do what we can to keep prices down, and rest assured when conditions change, prices will be reduced.
Best-value wine storage in the UK
As those who choose to store their wines with us will also know, we have been able to hold Members’ Reserves storage prices for the second year in a row. We’ve also introduced greater flexibility to this service, reducing minimum storage quantity and allowing members to remove a few bottles from a full case to try wines as they mature. We believe that this level of service demonstrates exceptional value.
Opposing duty rises
We have gone on record as describing the proposed post-Brexit duty rises as unworkable and unfair. They represent a bad deal for our members and for all UK wine drinkers. The Society will continue to lobby against duty rises to ensure that our prices remain as stable as possible. We support a fair approach to duty across all categories, but wine has been singled out for the harshest increase, which will be felt in steep price rises and increased red tape and costs for The Society. Members who wish to lobby their MP on this matter will find more information and resources on the WSTA website.
Value with Values
We can offer all the above because of our mutuality model. It’s something that makes The Wine Society special, and it means our buyers continue to have the freedom to source wines they believe in, choosing on quality and value alone. Next week, we will introduce a new selection from our range – Value with Values – to celebrate the best-value bottles, whatever the price. I hope you enjoy browsing it.
We are all members at The Society, and our sole interest is to provide the best value and service possible. These are difficult, inflationary times. By holding and reducing prices, offering free delivery and allowing flexibility in reserves at the lowest price in the industry, combined with our fantastic range, we will remain the strongest wine-loving community in the world. Thank you for your continued support.
Chief Executive Officer