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Wednesday, 16 August, 2000, 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK
Wine e-tailers merge
Wine.com
The new site will take Wine.com's name
Two California-based wine e-tailers are planning to merge in a bid to create the leading online store offering advice on wine, ratings and reviews.

The two companies, Wine.com and WineShopper.com, will incorporate the best features from each site, they said.

The combined venture will operate under the Wine.com name and will be launched some time next year.

"We intend to leverage our combined resources, management expertise, and established industry relationships to provide the best customer experience in the online wine space," said Bill Newlands, president and CEO of wine.com, who will serve as CEO of the new company.

Founded in 1994, Wine.com was the first wine store on the web and was one of the first etailers, while WineShopper.com was just launched in April, helped by a $30m investment from Amazon.com.

The move comes amid increasing consolidation in the online retail business.

E-tailers have been having a hard time recently following the collapse of high-profile sports etailer, boo.com, and investors have become increasingly wary of online etailing ventures.

Strategic alliances

Wine.com aims to build its market share and maintain its position as the leading wine etailer through its series of existing strategic partnerships.

Between them, the two sites have alliances with Amazon.com, TheWallStreetJournal.com, Wine Spectator, The New York Times on the Web, WineToday.com, Food & Wine, Saveur, Wine & Spirits, and Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine.

"This combination strengthens our investment in the online wine space and furthers our commitment to deliver an unprecedented customer experience to wine lovers around the world," said Erich Ringewald, vice president of marketplace at Amazon.com and Board member of WineShopper.com.

The company also partners with wine producers, wholesalers, and retailers to fulfill its wine orders. It also wants to be the premier site in offering advice and reviews on wine.

No financial details of the deal were released.

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