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How Wine, Beer, And Spirits Importers And Distributors Are Navigating Right Now In USA

In conversation with Thomas Petito, managing director of Petito Wine Selections.

15/09/2020

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In conversation with Thomas Petito, managing director of Petito Wine Selections.

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My mission and passion is to locate and import small-batch, limited production wines from Italy, Spain and Portugal, and to distribute these boutique wines throughout the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas. There’s nothing I enjoy more than introducing my selections to passionate chefs and sommeliers, professionals who go about choosing wine with the same care and effort that they put into building their menus. I also distribute to retailers whose customers are wine lovers and connoisseurs, for whom mainstream wines have no appeal. Our philosophy will always be quality and flavor first.

In conversation with Thomas Petito, managing director of Petito Wine Selections.

1. Changes from your off-premise accounts? Describe order sizes, types of drinks, types of brands they are shifting towards, and frequency.

The low end of wines are attracting all the attention.

2. Changes from your on-premise accounts? Describe order sizes, types of drinks, types of brands they are shifting towards, and frequency.

FMB has been leading the way with the under 30 crowd.

3. How much staff you had to set go and how did you manage work for the remaining staff, new roles, change of roles?

I have kept all my people.

4. What new things you are doing to sustain and add revenue?

More marketing.

5. Are you looking for new brands for your import and distribution business at all? if no, when do you and how do you plan to source new brands.

I have been personally reaching out to as many as possible. Please mention in your story that if anyone needs exposure for there brands to get in touch with me.

6. Are you taking new brands to the market to show your accounts? If yes, how are you doing sampling and new product demos?

I would love new brands.

7. How are you supporting your accounts in this phase?

Marketing

8. We are seeing a big shift in digital platforms, how did you use the digital landscape?

As best I can, it is now more than ever the main focus.


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In conversation with Patrick McNeany, Founder, Owner of Classic Wine Selections

Classic Wine Selections, a wine importing company headquartered in Chicago, IL, was founded in 2016 by Patrick McNeany after many years of traveling to world wine regions and developing considerable knowledge and expertise in world wines, food, and culture. All our wines are carefully selected from small, quality-focused, environmentally concerned estates, delivering a unique terroir and affordable wine experience. We strive to deliver the authentic character of  the wines “home”.   Our producers put their heart and soul into every bottle of wine they produce.  We are proud to represent these families and their passion. Our objective is to develop long term relationships and partnerships with both our suppliers and clients, providing great, memorable wines and exceptional customer service.

In conversation with Patrick McNeany, Founder, Owner of Classic Wine Selections


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1. Changes from your off-premise accounts? Describe order sizes, types of drinks, types of brands they are shifting towards, and frequency.

The low end of wines are attracting all the attention.

2. Changes from your on-premise accounts? Describe order sizes, types of drinks, types of brands they are shifting towards, and frequency.

-70%

3. How much staff you had to set go and how did you manage work for the remaining staff, new roles, change of roles?

0 - More focus on new business off-premise.

4. What new things you are doing to sustain and add revenue?

More favorable terms, promotions, partner with the online seller.

5. What has been your biggest challenge?

Cost control - retailers know they have the upper hand.

6. Are you looking for new brands for your import and distribution business at all? if no, when do you and how do you plan to source new brands.

Always.

7. Are you taking new brands to the market to show your accounts? If yes, how are you doing sampling and new product demos?

Yes.  Nobody is really doing traditional tastings yet.  Some I just drop off the bottle. Others buy without sample or demo.

8. How are you supporting your accounts in this phase?

Emails, visits where allowed.

9. We are seeing a big shift in digital platforms, how did you use the digital landscape?

Instagram, newsletters, possibly will work with Libdib.

10. Tips you want to share for other importers and distributors

Keep grinding.


You might like this - How Wine Retailers Can Effectively Manage Unsold Inventory


Check out our fresh conversation with Thomas Petito, managing director of Petito Wine Selections, and Patrick McNeany, Founder, Owner of Classic Wine Selections.


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