Lay & Wheeler reports best year in over a decade

Fine wine merchant Lay & Wheeler has recorded its best year in over a decade, with a 57% increase in sales in the year to March 29, 2021.

The company said it is seeing the direct benefits of investing in its team and its service since returning to independence, having been purchased by two private families from Majestic Wine plc in October 2019.

Managing director, Katy Keating, said: “Our commitment to building a friendly, knowledgeable team focused on delivering best-in-class service, coupled with investment in our website, is beginning to show, and both customers and producers are noticing.”

As the business achieves its growth targets, it is expanding. Keating said: “It’s been a transformational year: in the last 12 months, we’ve hired eight new team members and initiated plans to build our own state-of-the-art warehouse and company headquarters, both part of our longer-term strategic objectives.”

Lay & Wheeler noted particular increases in sales of wine from South Africa, up 69% from the previous year, and Champagne, up 70% from the previous year, alongside successful Bordeaux 2019 and Burgundy 2019 releases. In addition, the company saw a 20% increase in its Cellar Circle membership, where members work with a dedicated fine wine advisor to build a wine portfolio over time, all from word of mouth and member referrals.

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