Eurovintage - serving a competitive market

To prosper, a liquor merchant must have great brands, strong customer relationships and an efficient supply chain. Eurovintage Ltd is just such a business, developed over 30 years as an independently owned expert in liquor importation and distribution. “Despite what the public might think, the New Zealand market is very, very competitive and the margins are tight. You really have to be on your game,” says Nick Hern, Eurovintage Chief Executive and majority shareholder.

Eurovintage – encompassing the business of Vintage W&S since 2010 – has renowned liquor brands like Louis Roederer, Frescobaldi, Campari, Sapporo, McGuigan and JC Le Roux in the market’s leading global portfolio, alongside top-flight local wine labels Ata Rangi, Hunter’s, Babich and more. ”We are very selective in our offering, we have something to meet the needs of every type of outlet,” says Nick. They include New Zealand’s big grocery chains, representing 38% of Eurovintage’s sales, more traditional off-licence stores (32%) and on-premises bars and restaurants. 

This nationwide customer base, alongside customers’ preference to carry limited stock themselves, make complex logistics a crucial part of the Eurovintage business. In 2014, Nick and his team moved into a 5,000 sq m distribution centre at Auckland Airport, where containers of product arrive daily from Australia, Europe, North America or South Africa. The company runs its own deliveries across central Auckland, and freights product to customers New Zealand-wide (with the help of a third-party logistics provider in the South Island).

Needless-to-say, Eurovintage is a GS1 member for whom best use of the right Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Global Location Numbers (GLNs) and barcoding is crucial. Barcodes are of course required on every bottle or can destined for the New Zealand marketplace. “Gone are the days when winemakers would not want to see barcoding on their labels because they saw themselves producing only for restaurants or a special end of the market. Every product must now be ready for standard retail trade, a bottle of wine priced at $8.99 or $300,” says Nick. 

Labelling on liquor sourced for our market from anywhere in the world has GS1 identifiers and barcodes. “That’s the theory anyway, although sometimes we are alerted by our customers or GS1 New Zealand to deficiencies in barcode printing or scan-ability, and we have to fix them at our end,” says Nick. “These days you have to get everything right to meet the needs of supermarkets and the liquor trade.”

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