Wine on the Web from Sainsbury’s

To help wash down the smoked salmon, Sainsbury’s, who have been building a Web presence since February of this year, will be the first major UK food retailer to offer goods for sale on the Internet.

At 8.00 am on Monday, 24th April, Sainsbury’s Wine Direct was available, a seasonal selection of 40 wines that can be ordered via the Internet for home delivery. Sainsbury’s home page access ID is: http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/

...and to get straight to the wine, just plonk ...wine-direct/shop/ on the end.

This has turned out to be the glutton’s special issue of infoHIGHWAY, featuring the Good Life Online!

As you would expect from such a venerable brand, Sainsbury’s present-ation is a very polished affair indeed, and promises to be the start of something big, since the national distribution fac-ilities of an organisation like Sainsbury’s are amongst the best anywhere.

Sainsbury’s is the biggest wine merchant in the UK, and was voted supermarket Wine Merchant of the Year 1995 by Wine Magazine. Over ten million shop at Sainsbury’s stores each week, and despite having this grip on the high street market, Sainsbury’s are very carefully positioning themselves to be highly visible with an early presence on the Internet.

The wines have been carefully selected from Sainsbury’s award-winning list, and a Spring Selection was announced on 24th March. Sainsbury’s Joint Managing Director, David Quarmby, said: "As part of developing our services to customers, we are now offering our Wine Direct range over the Internet. There is a fast growing interest in the Information Superhighway and already a large community of users. This provides a new and exciting opportunity to reach wine lovers, some of whom may not easily be able to visit a Sainsbury’s store. The home delivery is initially confined to the UK, but we expect to extend its availability overseas soon."

Customers accessing Wine Direct on the Internet will be able to browse through a page of information about each wine, including an image of the bottle and a close-up picture of the label. The range of wines can be selected by country of origin or by price range.

To order the wine, customers fill in the Internet order form, including details of any gift card message. The order will be confirmed by email and a follow-up telephone call to the customer will obtain credit card details. Wine Direct was launched nationally as a telephone service last November, and has proved extremely popular with customers particularly over Christmas and Easter.

The service offers wines by the case (12 bottles) which can be made up of two half case selections.

Prices starting at £2.99 per bottle with a delivery charge of £3.95 on single case orders, and for two or more cases to the same address, delivery is free.

Get stuffed

(in the nicest possible way)

Other information on Sainsbury’s home page includes a list of all Sainsbury’s super-markets and a section on Company History , and the Sainsbury family tree. There’s even footage of Sainsbury’s celebrity recipe television advertisements, all accompanied by colour images that, despite their small size (and low bandwidth), still manage to get the digestive juices flowing quite effectively.

Where can you get that aroma reader add-on for Netscape, I wonder?


Connecting

Sainsbury’s Wine Direct email address is Wine-direct@j-sainsbury.co.uk.

Sainsbury’s customer service depart-ment may also be accessed by email using Customer.services @ j-sainsbury.co.uk