The Slurp Group continued to gain market share and exhibit strong sales growth in Q3 2011. Group revenues advanced 78% over Q3 2010. All three of the Group’s main divisions: UK Retail, Fine Wines and Slurp.asia saw strong yoy revenue gains.
Q3 2011 saw the formal launch of the Slurp.asia platform, allowing Slurp’s Asian customers to purchase directly through a HK$ denominated online platform. Slurp.asia is the first of a number of international brands planned by Slurp, and it has already made rapid inroads into the Asian retail market. Slurp.asia also moved into its new offices in central Hong Kong and Managing Director Tom Chamberlain has begun a recruitment programme that will see Sales and Trading built up substantially over the next 12 months.
In the quarter Slurp also launched a number of other strategic initiatives: Slurpbeer.com was formally rolled out as UK sub-brand offering a range of over 500 specialist beers. Our new YouTube-based tasting channel SlurpVision was unveiled under the leadership of Victoria Daskal. SlurpVision will bring to life products in a way that a simple text and images website can’t. It also features interviews with top names from the wine world such as Steven Spurrier and Serge Hochar (early participants). SlurpVision has been extremely popular, with almost 9,000 upload views already.
Q3 also saw the beta launch of Slurp’s online fine wine trading platform. Slurp WineTrader is the result of extensive consultation with fine wine buyers and investors about the paucity of trading and portfolio tools currently on the market. Fine wine trading and investment has exploded in popularity in the last few years, but wine merchants’ platforms have not kept pace with the expectations of clients. It is hoped that WineTrader will evolve into the contemporary retail trading and portfolio platform that the industry so badly needs.
Slurp’s progress was again recognised by the industry. In Q3 Slurp was nominated for a number of industry awards by International Wine Challenge and Decanter. Slurp was a candidate for IWC ‘Direct Merchant of the Year’ 2011. Decanter nominated Slurp for ‘National Wine Merchant of the Year’.
Of greatest potential importance was the launch in Q3 of a formal venture capital round. Slurp executives met with numerous venture capital houses during the quarter and met with an extremely enthusiastic response. It is hoped that a formal announcement of a major strategic investment in Slurp will be made in late Q4.