The History of Fine Wine Delivery Co. 2013-2017: Phoenix rises from the ashes

12-months in the planning and execution, our new Lunn Ave SuperStore opened for trading September 16 and was officially opened by The Right Honourable John Key. Our vision for this new generation Fine Wine, Craft Beer and Fine Spirit SuperStore retail environment proved correct, the October-December quarter realising record trading results.

Virginia hosted consecutive wine tours to France in 2013 and 2014, followed by an outstanding Spanish tour in 2015. Months of planning and organisation goes into each tour, Virginia does that with aplomb, smiling her way through any challenges.

Mid-June 2015, we opened the doors of our second SuperStore at 60 Constellation Drive on the North Shore. It was always part of our vision to have a store on the North Shore, where the FWD Co. journey had begun 18 years earlier. Also opened by John Key, right from day one it exceeded our expectations becoming an exciting SuperStore retail environment.

In 2016, we launched generation 9 of capitalising on new technologies to enhance the user experience, plus improve content. Online is our largest business channel having surpassed that of our stores, more innovations will follow. Simultaneously, we shifted our proprietary data systems across to SAP, needing superior operating systems to manage the complexities resulting from expansion. The early to mid-stages of transition created service and delivery compromises, this was counter to another of our five founding business pillars, “to deliver our customers industry leading service”, which made this period in our trading history so frustrating. As with all challenges in our 20-years, we have risen to overcome them and I'm delighted to report service levels are back to our best and we won't stop there! Amongst all of that, Virginia, me and our great mate Tony Ellis rode our mountain bikes from Picton to Bluff (1,365km down the West Coast) in 18-days, raising $257,000 that was equally distributed among all 29 Hospice entities throughout NZ… what a year it was!

January 2017 saw the welcome return of Tracey to the business to take up the role of General Manager Marketing & Trading, enabling Richard to focus his skills/energies into the role of General Manager Operations. FWD Co. has become a significant player in the very competitive world of Fine Wine, Craft Beer and Fine Spirit retailing. We employ 35 fulltime staff and our business must deliver excellence across three unique areas… retail, online retail plus distribution.

We've reached this 20th Anniversary milestone with the support of our suppliers, the contributions of many fine employees, plus the loyal patronage of tens of thousands of wonderful customers.

Today the business has my continued guidance in the role of mentoring, strategy, training and I'm active on our tasting panel. We're fortunate to have Richard and Tracey with their complementary skills at the helm, plus quality team members across all key areas of the business. Our core pillars remain today and will stand us in good stead as we steer the revitalised and much-loved family owned FWD Co. into a 3rd decade.

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