Rowan Gormley, founder of Naked Wines
1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business?
Our aim is to get the best winemakers in the world making wine exclusively for Naked Wines’ customers. We can do this by offering them what they want more than anything else…the ability to focus on making great wines, rather than selling them. While making a living obviously! We are off to a great start, and there is plenty in the pipeline, but you aint seen nothin yet.
2. What is the biggest challenge to your business?
Getting sceptical winemakers to recognise that the old way of doing business is bust. They have had to fight it for so long, it is hard for them to believe that they really don’t have to any more!
3. With the benefit of hindsight what would you have done differently so far?
Got bigger faster. To attract the best, we have to be able to offer then a decent living. To make that affordable to customers, they need to amortise that cost over a decent volume of wine. Which in turn requires us to be a decent size. I reckon we’re halfway there.
4. What is the future of the physical store?
Tough. Unless you are offering your customers genuine customer friendly advice, why would anyone want to lug a case of wine home when they can have it delivered.
5. What will the high street look like in a decade?
Like disneyland. Dominated by places to eat and drink as opposed to shops. I think it will be a nicer place.
6. Will mobile devices be the primary sales channel in the future?
Absolutely. Now wine drinkers have a computer in their pocket when they are drinking their wine, and that means that they can listen to the winemaker telling them about the wine they are drinking, they can tell their friends about it, order another, find out what else they will enjoy…
7. What other retail business do you admire?
Zappos, Asos, Crashpadder, Zopa, betfair and you have to admire Amazon.
8. If you hadn’t been a retailer/provider-to-retailers what would you have liked to do?
A University lecturer. I did it for a year and loved it to bits.
9. What marks out of 10 do you give yourself so far for achievement?
5.5. Everywhere I look I can see clever people doing clever things and I wish I could do them all
10. Who would you place in the Top 30 Multi-channel/e-commerce Movers & Shakers?
Boringly, it has to be Jeff Bezos of Amazon for being unrelenting.