New Vine Logistics, back from the dead?

    new-vine-logistics-sell-more-wine-cease-operationsAlmost everyone, and I mean everyone, in the wine industry has been talking, tweeting, blogging and podcasting this last week or so about the solvency (or lack-thereof) of New Vine Logistics, a direct wine shipping fulfillment service based in Napa.

    So, recap. Bad news: we’re almost out of business. But the good news: “New Vine will not raise shipping rates in 2009” (from their web site)

    A lot of wineries depend on NVL to ship orders to customers, and when news broke that they were “ceasing operations”, a mad panic ensued. For many, it became a crash course in crisis management and customer relations.

    What would happen to the wine already in NVL’s warehouses? And how would customers react when their shipments were delayed, or worse yet, failed to show. What, a weekend without Alpha Omega?!

    Most importantly though could be the potential disruption to cash flow and recenue recognition.

    The San Francisco Business Times, The Wall Street Journal and others are now reporting that Inertia Beverage Group is taking on New Vine’s debt through a deal brokered with Silicon Valley Bank — bank to the tech stars.

    Although not a done deal (diligence), it most certainly ends the 1-800-Flowers deal. How convenient would that have been? One phone call, and a spouse could order a lot of forgiveness from one shop.

    From a statement issued today:

    “In order to address New Vine’s customer needs and allow for their systems and operations to get back online and shipments flowing immediately, IBG will provide interim cash funding to New Vine pending final documentation,” IBG President and CEO Ted Jansen said in a June 5 statement. “Operations are already gearing up and we are confident in the ability of New Vine’s operational team and employees to quickly respond.”

    Will this be the last we hear about this saga?

    [Source: SF Business Times bizjournals.com, Change of course: New Vine Logistics to restart with new funding]
    [Source: The Wall Street Journal, Wine Shipper New Vine to Get Funding to Resume Business]

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