Slowing growth and signs customer retention are slipping have turned up the heat on online wine merchant Naked Wines.
The very definition of a pandemic winner, Naked Wines has pulled the trick practiced by lots of businesses which prospered during Covid and pointed to growth in the period before restrictions were imposed.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said: “When we were all stuck at home the idea of getting a regular order of wine delivered felt to many people like an attractive way of treating themselves and breaking up the monotony of lockdown.
“Naked Wines also offered something a bit different from the usual bottle of plonk plucked off a supermarket shelf, connecting its subscribers with independent winemakers.
“Whether that pull still remains now household budgets are squeezed and people have the option of going out for a drink is open for debate. If you have the money to spend the thought of sharing a bottle of wine with friends in a bar, pub or restaurant, after a long period when that option was off the table, is undoubtedly attractive.
“Tellingly Naked Wines is expecting to spend a considerable sum on customer acquisition in the current financial year and expects to be breakeven at best. This is a far from ideal message at a time when investors are in no mood to wait for profit.”