Keeping global wine-lovers engaged uses strategies from website enhancement to ultra-fast shipping to please international clientele.

FSB -- When we spoke to the team at in 2000, it had just relocated from California to the hills of Bordeaux, where many of its products originated. The move to vineyard country enabled the company to offer a wider selection of wines. It expanded from two suppliers to 80, winning new international customer with the improved inventory.

To enhance customers' shopping experience, has upgraded its website with additions such as a popular online glossary on Wine 101. And it has pulled out all stops to ship bottles across the Atlantic within 24 hours. This past June, an important customer made a $90,000 purchase - on the condition that it arrive at his parked helicopter within two hours of the order. General manager Bernard Atia made sure the delivery arrived on time. "In this company, the customer is king," he says.

Shifting from a mostly American clientele to a global one has helped's revenues. Sales are up almost 40% since last year. The firm is now working on plans to open outposts in Moscow, Shangai and Tawain, to improve distribution. "We want to be very close to the customer," says Atia.  Top of page

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