Wednesday, July 1, 2009


A lot of times I think I can be too nice when it comes to dealing with importers and distributors. I mean, being a part of the wine business, everyone should be happy, easy-going, and cooperative, right? And usually, most of the folks are. Yet every now-and-again, I get someone who gets me so angry, that I wonder, “What is the point?” Especially when it comes to selling me wine, why would I want to buy from someone who is nothing but problematic? It doesn’t make any sense. Yet today I find myself in such a situation.

A few months back, I was told that the distributor I had been buying this particular portfolio from, was no longer representing the brands for either Ohio or Kentucky. Soon, I learned that a distributor I with whom have a great working relationship, was going to be representing the wines for our state. Awesome, I thought. And supply, which had been an issue before, was now not going to be even a hiccup. Then, a thorn in my side.

A retailer down state, who operates under the belief that it is 1979, protested the move, and the deal fell through, and a distributor that also operates archaically, is now the portfolio’s representation for Kentucky. It took a lot of hand-holding and reassurances for me to believe that things were going to be the same, if not slightly better.

Today was my rude awakening.

Pricing, which is a really big deal around here (our price advantage over Ohio retailers has to be maintained at all times in order to stay competitive), has been revealed to be upside down and backwards on this portfolio’s brands, with Ohio being cheaper on a random sample of items – which leads me to believe that we have just received a massive “shivving” at the hands of both importer and distributor. Why the jury is still out, and neither side has gotten back to me, I have to say, I am fuming. You would think that this kind of behavior in business would be avoided on the side of the suppliers, seeing as how everyone is hurting for business. Yet I am never really too surprised when this happens. There will always be someone somewhere who needs to screw somebody over.

How will this work out? Stay tuned.

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