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Media PACK 2020

WE’re AS INDEpendent as our readers The Wine Merchant is the only magazine that is devoted exclusively to the UK’s independent wine and spirits specialists. Established in 2012, it has become the most widely-distributed and most enthusiastically read trade title among its target audience: small and medium-sized businesses that sell great wine. It’s the only magazine that aims for 100% coverage of this trade sector and every month our circulation grows to keep pace with store openings – both from new entrants and established wine merchants. The magazine is published by Graham Holter Ltd, a small independent business whose owners consider themselves kindred spirits to the merchants they serve.

DEFINING ‘INDEPENDENT’ • The business must not have more than 15 branches • It must sell to the public • It must have at least one bricks-and-mortar shop • It must have a specialism in wine and/or spirits These definitions have become generally accepted within the UK wine trade. They exclude chains such as Majestic, Oddbins and Wine Rack. Generalist offlicences and convenience stores are also excluded, as are merchants that only sell online, or to private clients. Independents who meet these criteria qualify for a free copy of The Wine Merchant. This is the case even if their wholesale trade is bigger than their retail business, or if most of their turnover occurs outside of wine. As more independents explore the potential of onpremise sales, and of offering delicatessen items, it’s possible that retail wine and spirits sales may no longer be their principle revenue stream. They still qualify for a copy of The Wine Merchant providing they meet the criteria listed above.


The number of specialist independent wine shops in the UK (figure correct November 8 2019)


Average print run of The Wine Merchant (one issue per retail business plus extra copies to suppliers, marketing agencies and subscribers)

NOT JUST ANOTHER TRADE MAG Independents are different. They are creative, free-thinking entrepreneurs who love what they do. For them, wine isn’t just business. It’s a lifestyle, a vocation, a calling. We wanted the first trade magazine aimed exclusively at these guys to reflect that. That’s why each issue of The Wine Merchant is jam-packed with news and views from the retailers themselves. It’s not just a magazine for independents. It’s a magazine about independents. We don’t run stories based on press releases (what’s the point? You can read them in any other trade mag) and we don’t write about the multiples or big-brand wines and spirits. Instead, we focus on the innovative ideas that keep the independent sector so buoyant, and the people behind them. We’re never short of material. Indies are the most interesting people in the trade. The Wine Merchant is their magazine.

regular features The Wine Merchant continues to evolve with each new issue but there are some regular editorial features that readers look forward to seeing every month. Bacchus: a round-up of news from independents, full of inspiring business ideas. Comings & Goings: updates on new shops from both established players and new entrants. Tried & Tested: honest, impartial reviews of wines targeted at independents. Favourite Things: a merchant discusses the best aspects of their business and the wine trade. Magpie: a quick overview of some of the month’s most important wine trade news stories. Merchant Profile: an in-depth interview with an independent retailer. Just Williams: award-winning writing from The Observer wine critic David Williams. Adeline Mangevine: our columnist’s hasty despatches from the front line of wine retailing. Book reviews: critiques of new publications relevant to merchants and their customers. The Spirits World: a new dedicated section aimed at bolstering independents’ spirits ranges. Make a Date: previews of the tastings that should be in independents’ diaries.

SUPPLIER BULLETIN: the engine ROOM Independents need regular updates from suppliers. Our Supplier Bulletin pages are arguably the most cost-effective way of achieving this. This is the section of the magazine in which agents and importers share their latest news. Special promotions; winemaker tours; agency changes; range additions; tasting dates … it’s all perfect material for your Supplier Bulletin entry. Change the copy as often or infrequently as you like. Some suppliers like to pack in as much information as possible; others try to be more visual in their approach. Whatever option you choose, we take care of all artwork within the fee, though you’re welcome to supply your own, as some clients do. Supplier Bulletin is the engine room of The Wine Merchant: a simple and engaging way of communicating with both existing and potential customers. Our reader survey has found that 78% of readers find it useful.

our readers are thinking bigger The independent wine trade is changing fast. Merchants are transforming their businesses and their needs are evolving all the time. • Independents are increasingly offering drinks for sale on the premises. Creating wine bar or enoteca areas is transforming the way in which merchants operate. Our 2019 reader survey found that 37% of independents now offer wine in this way, with another 4% expecting to do so in the near future. • Independents are open to the idea of selling food. Twenty-five per cent already serve food on the premises and a further 3% say they will go this route soon. • Independents are expanding. In our survey, 55% said they were confident of achieving increased sales in the coming year and 11% expected to open new branches. The number of stores rose by around 50 over the course of 2018. As the nature of independent wine retailing changes, opportunities are opening up for all kinds of suppliers of products and services to do business with our readership. Shop fitting; EPoS; wine dispense systems; glassware; legal and financial services; logistics; couriers … these are just some of the topics that independents have on their radar.

prospects for 2020 Although 2019 was a bleak year for the retail trade in many respects, the number of independent wine shops actually remained stable – a pretty remarkable result. Many merchants report 12 months of unpredictable peaks and troughs, though for a significant number of retailers the year did not pan out as badly as they had feared. Indeed a number of merchants have reported sales increases and several are in expansion mode: Le Vigneron, The Good Wine Shop and JN Wines are just three high-profile examples. Specialist wine shops are surprisingly resilient in the face of any economic downturn. In the financial crisis of 2007-2008, specialist wine shops saw a boom – consumers increasingly focused their wine spend on take-home consumption, typically foregoing meals in restaurants and instead trading up to better quality wine and cooking at home. As supermarkets disappoint serious wine lovers with dumbed-down offers in order to hit key price points, specialist merchants are becoming increasingly attractive destinations for wine lovers.

publishing schedule 2020 January 15

Australian wine; Cava Summit; Ready-to-drink cocktails. Panel tasting:

Canned wine. Copy deadline: December 13. February 15

Champagne; Biodynamic wine; Scotch whisky. Panel tasting: Orange

wine. Copy deadline: January 21. March 15

South African wine; English wine; Organic spirits. Panel tasting: Canadian

wine. Copy deadline: February 20. April 15

Rioja; Greek wine; Fruity gin. Panel tasting: Dark rosĂŠs. Copy deadline:

March 20. May 15

Languedoc wine; Italian wine; Miniature spirits. Panel tasting: Jura wine.

Copy deadline: April 22. June 15

Eastern European wine; German Riesling; Rum. Panel tasting: Hungarian

wine. Copy deadline: May 20. July 15

Bag-in-box wine; Grape-based spirits. Panel tasting: Loire reds. Copy

deadline: June 22. August 15

CrĂŠmant; Argentinian wine; Bourbon. Panel tasting: Pinotage. Copy

deadline: July 20. September 15

Portuguese wine; Beaujolais; Bitters. Panel tasting: Alcohol-free drinks.

Copy deadline: August 20. October 15

Fortified wine; Indie-friendly alternatives to favourite Christmas spirits.

Panel tasting: Lebanese wines. Copy deadline: September 21.

November 15

Gin. Other features to be confirmed. Copy deadline: October 20.

DISPLAY ADVERTISING & INSERTS Half and full-pages are available and will usually be placed on a right-hand page unless otherwise requested. Ads will generally be assigned the earliest available slot although the client may prefer to place the ad within a particular editorial feature. Back page slots are available at a premium rate. Artwork for full page ads should be A4 with a 3mm bleed. Please supply in PDF format with crop marks. Half-page ads should be supplied as PDFs or JPEGs, measuring 190mm x 133mm (landscape). We are also happy to discuss other options, including one-third pages, eighthpages or bespoke sizes.

THE BEST DATABASE IN THE BUSINESS We base our circulation on a database of independents that is updated on an ongoing basis. Every week of the year we’re changing and expanding the list to take account of new openings, changes of ownership and any closures that may have occurred. So we’re pretty sure we’ve got the most reliable database of independents that exists. You can take advantage of this with inserts – from small flyers and invitations right the way up to fullyfledged catalogues and price lists. Your mailing can be tailored: for example, you might want to exclude Scottish stores, or to target shops in the north west. We can make this happen. Not only do we work out cheaper than Royal Mail, but we minimise wasted mailings thanks to the quality of our list.

Supplements Supplements allow us to home in on a particular theme in more detail than we have room for in the magazine itself. Each project that we work on has its own distinctive look and feel. Usually we team up with a client, typically a generic body, to agree a budget and a brief. One tried and tested formula is to arrange a tasting of wines from a country or region, assemble a tasting panel of independent merchants, and feature their favourites in the supplement. But there are no hard-and-fast rules. Let’s be creative!


GIN DIRECTORY OCTOBER 2017 distinguished distillers

bold botanicals

Producers perfect for independents

Foraging for fabulous flavours

recommended by retailers

creating a new craft

Gins that generate repeat sales

A brief history of the gin revolution

CLIENT AND READER TESTIMONIALS The Wine Merchant has attracted some very complimentary comments since its launch in 2012. But we would say that, wouldn’t we? Rather than quote such comments in a media pack, and expect you to take them at face value, we would encourage anyone interested in working with us to do their own research. • Contact a small number of specialist wine and spirits retailers and ask them which trade magazines they receive – and which ones they find most relevant and useful. • Then ask them specifically about The Wine Merchant. Do they find the articles interesting? Is it a magazine that staff also like to read? Is it a good source of business ideas? Does it give them a clearer idea of what suppliers can offer them? If you’re happy with the answers you receive – and we’re fairly confident that you will be – we’d be delighted to discuss how we can work together. We never try to “upsell” or to talk clients into a programme of activity that is disproportionate to their needs. We appreciate that marketing budgets need to be spent very carefully. Our rates are, we believe, the best value in the business and represent the most cost-effective way of maximising your exposure among independents.

THE WINE MERCHANT BULLETIN and bespoke emails We also have an e-mail newsletter, The Wine Merchant Bulletin. Although at present we are not offering display advertising, the Bulletin is a useful way of communicating with independents in between publication dates. It can also reinforce other activity, for example inviting readers to sign up for trips and lunches that we organise. In some cases we build this type of activity into your campaign. We’re also happy to discuss the option of using our Twitter feed to get your message out to independents, though we tend to regard this type of social media as a “safety net” rather than mainstream commercial activity. Bespoke emails to our database are also possible. Please ask us for details.

Speciality spirits and beers Quality wine merchants recognise that their customers want more than just wine. In our 2019 reader survey, most respondents said that speciality spirits were an important part of their sales mix, and 42% said the same about British craft beer. The Wine Merchant has increased the amount of coverage it devotes to these vibrant categories. We launched dedicated spirits section in January 2019 and it’s become an important part of the magazine, full of news, opinion, advice – and cocktail ideas.

ÂŁ560m The combined turnover of UK specialist independents, based on the January 2019 reader survey

ways we can work together The Wine Merchant can offer a range of creative options for sponsored editorial. We don’t like the word “advertorial” or the connotations that go with it. Our readers are intelligent entrepreneurs and we work hard to treat them as such, with stimulating and constructive features.

READER TRIPS AND EVENTS We work with clients to organise trips to wine regions. These typically involve up to eight merchants. We recruit attendees and then produce editorial based on interviews with the independents involved. In 2019 we went to regions of France, Austria, Spain and Portugal – there was even a trip to Australia. We also organise The Wine Merchant Lunch on a regular basis, pouring wines from a selected country or region for a group of independent guests. Again, the feedback we get forms the basis of the article. Clients are given sight of copy and invited to make suggestions for amendments. Masterclasses, round-table discussions and tastings are also part of our calendar.

Below: In 2019 we worked with Business France on a tasting event involving artisanal winemakers looking for listings with independent merchants.

Above: We teamed up with Condor Wines to report on a buyers’ trip to South America.

Some examples of regular features produced in partnership with clients The Burning Question: Our monthly vox pop of independents, sponsored by Champagne Gosset. Enomatic Stories: Interviews with merchants about the benefits of wine dispensers, sponsored by Enomatic UK. Bright Ideas: Celebrating the ingenuity of independents in partnership with WBC. Rising Stars: Recognising team members who are making their mark, sponsored by Pol Roger Portfolio.

THE WINEMAKER FILES The independent wine trade is all about personalities and stories. Our popular feature, The Winemaker Files, allows the character of wine producers to really shine through. We prefer to base these articles on face-to-face conversations but they can work via telephone or Skype. The feature is faithful to the words of the winemaker but the client gets the chance to make amendments prior to press.

the wine merchant top 100 The Wine Merchant Top 100 is the only competition that’s devoted entirely to wines exclusive to the independent trade – and which is judged by independents themselves. David Williams Judging the Top 100 is hard work – but ultimately it’s all about wines that give pleasure


Trophy winners The wines that were just that little bit extra special


Tasting team There were 24 judges on our panel – all of them independent wine merchants


Best Vindies Merchantowned agency business takes biggest haul of medals


Vive la France There’s no surprise at the top of the country leader board – but we have a new No 2






Now in its seventh year, the competition is open to all UK-based importers. The winning wines are showcased in a tasting at the London Wine Fair and featured in a special supplement, sent out to all readers of The Wine Merchant. We start the call for entries at the beginning of the year and assemble our judging panel in the early spring – keep an eye on our website (www. for more details, and for information about the judges for 2020.



Full page: £600 Back page: £750 Half page: £350

Half page: £275


Small items: £390 Larger items: rates will be quoted based on size and weight of insert

£650 per full page. Where this is based on activity that requires work beyond journalism and layout (eg organising trips and lunches) a £300 admin fee will also be applied.


All rates are subject to VAT and may change to reflect increases in print or mailing costs

sharing our insights We are focused 100% on the independent trade. We understand the people, the dynamics and the numbers probably better than anyone. That knowledge is essential in our mission to produce The Wine Merchant. And we are happy to share it. If your business wants to engage more successfully with the independent trade, we can discuss our insights and experience with you. We are always available to help advise on effective ways of working with indies in their many forms, and are often asked to talk to sales teams about the state of play in the market. Please get in touch if this could be a useful service for you. We enjoy talking about independents and we’re enthusiastic about what they bring to the UK drinks market. It’s always good to spread the word. 01323 871836 Twitter: @WineMerchantMag Advertising (Georgina Humphrey) Editor (Graham Holter) Mobile 07736 740107 Assistant Editor (Claire Harries)

The Wine Merchant is published by Graham Holter Ltd Registered in England: No 6441762 VAT 943 8771 82

Profile for The Wine Merchant magazine

The Wine Merchant Media Pack 2020  

The Wine Merchant Media Pack 2020

The Wine Merchant Media Pack 2020  

The Wine Merchant Media Pack 2020