Thursday, October 8, 2009
BENT OVER ONCE, BENT OVER TWICE
In this business, you always try to politely decline certain brands, because somewhere down the line, a company may have burned you in one manner or another, yet in the future, you may still have to work with them. Early on here at LDWS, I was introduced to a particular portfolio of European wines that I was excited about, and ordered an ample first shipment in. The supplier and the distributor were both excited as well, yet the product was delayed due to various legal snags, until finally, it (the order) showed up, unannounced, at our main store. Typically, an order of this size goes to our warehouse, where (at least at that time), we divided up what we needed, and sent it to the store down the street, keeping excess backstock in a more manageable environment.
As if that weren't enough, the order was missing items, some items were out altogether, and many vintages were not the ones I had ordered. Upon some sleuthing, I determined that the distributor's sales force was pulling sample bottles out of our order (shipped directly to the distributor from the supplier), and prices were misquoted, etc. etc. etc. Needless to say, the experience left such a bad taste in my mouth, I sent it all back to the distributor, and ended my relationship with this supplier before it even began.
Now, the importer has returned, with a new wholesaler. I have been approached with these wines several times. They are good wines, and they do get those wonderful reviews that we retailers (have to) love so much. Is it time to let bygones BE bygones? Or am I just asking for it all over again? Many of the doubts have been alleviated with the new wholesaler and a new broker for these wines, yet I am still on the fence. And with so many wines out there, should I really even worry about all of this?