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Interesting piece in the San Francisco Chronicle about Internet wine retailer, which, though it is the nation’s biggest online wine retailer, also has gone through a “succession of owners and hundreds of millions of dollars invested and spent.” The company has just engaged an investment bank to help it either find an investor or a buyer.

It isn’t like the clock is ticking. The company’s numbers are improving, it has a relationship with that is bringing new customers to its site, and the recent decision by the US Supreme Court striking down out-of-state direct shipping prohibitions by many states can only have a positive impact on its future.

Still profitability remains elusive, and probably about two years away, even though sales this year are projected to hit $50 million, a healthy increase from last year’s $32 million.

Curiously, the company may be turning the financial corner even as ownership turns a philosophical one. Management says that the key to profitability has been not becoming too enamored with wine, but rather treating its products like any other product – the business is retail, not wine.
KC's View:
In some ways, learning that the owners of aren’t overly enthralled with the magic and romance of wine was enough to bring a tear to our eyes. But we have to say that while they may not consider themselves to be oenophiles, we’ve always sort of liked their site because it doesn’t seem overly pretentious.

And anything that makes wine approachable and more popular strikes us as a good thing.