Online wine retailer, Naked Wines, has been shortlisted for the Orange Innovation Award in the 10th annual National Business Awards.
The Norwich-based business is reported to have been shortlisted for its innovative approach to the wine industry.
Its ‘virtuous circle’ of investment means it is able to invest in independent winemakers in return for preferential prices, which it can then pass on to its customers. This approach is described as a new business model for the wine industry, offering cash-strapped producers a risk-free, profitable route to market.
The Orange Innovation Award recognises businesses that have gone beyond the ordinary in their development and implemented cutting edge innovation in terms of products, services or company culture.
Naked Wines will now prepare to make its presentation in person before an independent, expert judging panel in October before the winners are announced at an awards ceremony in November.
Naked Wines claims to be the fastest growing online wine retailer in the UK and has built its success by breaking down the barriers to wine buying and offering opportunities for independent winemakers to thrive.
The company is currently investing over £1m a month in independent winemakers, in return for exclusive wines at preferential prices.
With over 175,000 customers in the UK, the company employs 35 people in Norwich and is on course to turn over £20m in 2011 – a 100% increase on the previous 12 months.
Rowan Gormley, CEO, Naked Wines said: “Our customers and winemakers will be delighted to hear we’ve been shortlisted for the Orange Innovation Award.
“In an age-old industry stunted by snobbery and dubious marketing practices, we have proven a new way of doing business around collaboration rather than confrontation, and it’s testament to their willingness to embrace a new way of doing things. Thirty five winemakers are only in business today through upfront customer investment, and winning this award would help us spread the word and build on this success.”