Popular lifestyle connoisseur, Martha Stewart, launched her very own online wine company on April 5, 2017, because she wanted wine lovers all across America to “Pour the right wine. Enjoy the right wine.”
By partnering with Sequential Brands Group and DRINKS, Stewart was able to curate her own collection of wines by doing the wine tasting for her customers, which now consists of over 75 different cuvees. The company didn’t make any major headlines as far as seed funding rounds go, probably because Martha Stewart Wine Co. had all the funding it needed from not just its partners but from Stewart herself.
When Forbes interviewed and asked Stewart how she comes up with the cuvees in her featured curated collection, Stewart replied, “Our partners at drinks.com make the process virtually seamless. First, they source wines—primarily premium and super premium—from various producers around the world. Then, with a team of professionals, the wines are vetted, and then passed along to our team for tasting. This special relationship with vineyards and winemakers allows us to discover great wines that can be offered directly to our customers, which means better wine at affordable prices.”
This corporate wine company is also eco-friendly as it uses recycled bottles for all of its wines and recycled material in its packaging.
As far as the company’s website goes, we found it to be user-friendly and easy to navigate.
|In retail, bottles start at $9.99. With their membership, it’s $7.49/bottle for a dozen bottles in the first shipment. From the second shipment onwards, it’s $159.98/quarter for the same quantity.
|Beginners who can now refine their palate by going through a selection that has been curated by Martha Stewart.
|The company claims they deliver bottles every 6-8 weeks, but we found out that it is, in fact, quarterly.
|Bottles Per Shipment
According to ConsumersAdvocate — a popular product review website — many customers are unhappy mainly due to their customer support, which seems to be slow at resolving any issues. Major issues faced by customers included broken bottles upon delivery and a slow returns and refunds process. Customer support aside, subscribers do seem to enjoy the taste of offerings and the large scale selection.
Martha Stewart Wine Co. is currently offering a wine subscription to its new members at an introductory price of $89.88 for a dozen bottles of their choice for the first 12 weeks. After the initial first quarter, members will be charged $159.98/quarter for their choice of a dozen bottles, which brings the price to $13.33/bottle. If you calculate that on a monthly basis, that’s around $53/month for four handpicked bottles, making the company’s membership plan among the most affordable out there.
To make it even more tempting to oenophiles, in the second shipment, Martha Stewart Wine Co. currently offers a free Connoisseur’s Deluxe 7-Piece Lever Pull Corkscrew Set valued at $59.95.
Members also have the option to skip a shipment, change their wine preference, or cancel at any time by calling (888) 212-8197. Plus, they can also cancel online by logging into their account.
When compared to most of its peers, Martha Stewart Wine Co. is the new kid on the block. Of course, evidently, it has a legendary name (Martha Stewart) attached to it that does the talking and reminds everyone what this media maven brings with her—trust and quality. The brand is gaining ground with each passing year, but it still has a long way to go to consolidate its market presence.
Shipping is free for members. For retail sales, the brand offers free shipping on all orders of six or more bottles. Orders of less than six bottles are charged a flat fee of $14.95.
Note that orders can only be received by adults, as is also the norm with other wine clubs. Members receive a dozen bottles of their choice every quarter and shipments are handled by FedEx.
The wine company has also partnered with establishments like Walgreens and Safeway so that customers have the convenience of picking up their orders at their favorite store.
Shipping takes 2-3 business days after the order has been processed, which is done in a day. Point to note here: Martha Stewart Wine Co. suggests that customers allow them a week’s time for delivery from the date of ordering.
Regarding refunds/replacements, the company offers a refund if a bottle of cuvee doesn’t live up to the customer’s standards. Refunds usually take around 3-5 business days to be reflected in a customer’s account. If you receive a damaged package, the company advises that you get in touch with their customer support staff immediately.
Not all of Bright Cellar's customers online are happy, as evidenced in multiple comments and reviews on Trustpilot. Perhaps the biggest issue with this brand is the lack of communication between its customer service agents and its customers.
Among the issues pointed out were the difficulty with which to cancel a subscription, and how it took multiple attempts and e-mails to reach out to customer service agents. On their social media pages, however, representatives seem willing to answer questions and even offer to look further into details by having clients send them direct messages.
For those looking to get a Bright Cellars Wine subscription, other issues mentioned were wines tasting somewhat similar, although every review (Bright Cellars claims) will improve future wine selections for customers. Customer service agents can be reached through the website's e-mail, online, or at 1-844-223-5527.
The answer to this is obvious: Martha Stewart. This lifestyle and household entrepreneur, trusted by us and millions around the world, is a name that’s associated with value and top-notch quality. As such, Stewart’s wine company can be trusted because, at the end of the day, the collections available at her store have personally been curated by her. Not to mention, the collections have varietals that come from the best vineyards in America and Europe.
We believe Martha Stewart Wine Co. is doing well and has the potential to do great with a few minor tweaks to its customer support service and its subscription-plan offering. Lacking flexibility and options when it comes to its subscription plan was a major downer for most customers, especially when peers like Winc and Firstleaf offer multiple plans. Having said that, these issues are minor at best, and we’re certain they won’t stop Stewart from making her wine club stand among the best out there.