Naked Wines Type Retail Industry Wine Founded 2008 Founder(s) Rowan Gormley Headquarters Norwich, United Kingdom Website nakedwines.com
Naked Wines is an online wine retailer founded by Rowan Gormley which launched in the UK on the 1st December 2008.
The company was founded by Richard Branson's former right-hand-man and serial-entrepreneur Rowan Gormley. Rowan's previous ventures include setting-up and running Virgin Direct (now Virgin Money), the Virgin One Account, and Virgin Wines. When leaving Virgin Wines in the summer of 2008, his 15-strong management team followed suit to become Founding Partners at Naked.
About the business
Naked Wines is an online market for wine which supports independent winemakers from around the world. It invests in the winemakers in return for preferential prices, which it passes on to its customers. Its website allows customers to talk directly to the winemakers and other customers via a social networking platform. Customers can become 'Angels' for winemakers, which means paying a monthly subscription fee towards the next buy, but also earning a 33% rebate on all orders in exchange for their support; this rebate is in the form of a credit against future purchases, though is called "CashBack".
Naked Wines was named in the Startups 100 awards in 2010 as one of the UK's most innovative, inspiring and ground-breaking new companies which included the likes of Huddle (software) & Zoopla among others.
In July 2009 Naked Wines was announced as Jamie Oliver's wine partner. A dedicated wine section was added to the Jamie Oliver website with wine recommendations from Jamie Oliver. Recipes on Jamie Oliver's website are also paired to wine matches available from the Naked Wines website.
Naked Wines is the first UK wine retailer to bring a social networking side to its retail store.
Customers build a profile, find drinking buddies, upload content and integrate their ratings with their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
In March 2010, Naked Wines rolled out its Airline Pricing model  at the 2010 London International Wine Fair which it named Advance Bookings. The model, which offers customers huge savings by ordering their wine in advance is segregated into 5 periods where they can buy it, it being cheaper the sooner its bought  and is powered by huge investment from Naked Wines backed by its customers.
This model was then changed to accommodate a more directed approach in the form of MarketPlace. This system allows one Naked Winemaker a week to pitch his wine to the Naked Wines customer base at a discounted price. The consumer then chooses if he or she wants to bid on the wine or not, and once it exceeds a minimum volume the deal is on and the wines will be shipped no matter what, but there is a maximum that can still be reached of pre orders. Like in Advance Bookings, the wine isn't delivered the next day, but at a pre determined date some time in the near future. Naked Wines takes a commission of 10% in this process. 
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