Dragons’ Den star moves into wine retailing

Entrepreneur Peter Jones is moving into wine with the launch of an online retailing business. Gondola is aimed at mainstream drinkers and will specialise in branded wines.

A number of major suppliers have already signed up to the site, which, through Jones’ logistic network, will offer shoppers next-day delivery on single bottles and cases. Regular price promotions are planned alongside the Gondola Passport scheme, where shoppers build up points which are exchanged for free bottles of wine from different countries.

The launch will be backed by a £100,000 online marketing campaign designed to attract 600,000 visitors and 20,000 sales transactions within 12 months.

The Dragons’ Den star, and business partner Phil Lucas, have taken on Rowan McGregor, previously of Direct Wines, to run the operation. Industry consultant Angela Mount has also been advising on the project.

Lucas said: “With the current consolidation in the high street, and the increased dominance of the supermarkets, we saw the need for consumers to have a genuine choice, by providing them with the brands they know and trust online. “With the global phenomenon of online shopping set to continue, Peter Jones and I saw the opportunity to develop this sector of the market, and create a real difference.”

McGregor added: “The site is in its early stage, and there are exciting plans to develop a highly sophisticated, interactive website, to engage and inform.”

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