And I can’t see any reason why the Society should come under increasing pressure to sell to non-members. Why should it? All it seems to be aiming for is replacement of membership wastage and very small growth on top of this. These are not dramatic targets.
It already has one at London Bridge.
I do not think we have been told how large the potential “shortfall” in membership is. There has been talk of trying to attract customers from former High Street wine merchants, which suggests to me that it may be necessary to recruit in largish-numbers. In any event, as others have already noted, “future proofing” is a rather open-ended concept. Selling to the public would provide a ‘quick fix’ is that is what is needed.
My hope is that the the “golden bottle” and other promotions might help to bring back to activity some of the “inactive” members. I was told that many of these are those who have been given TWS membership as a Christmas present and never used them!
I guess we are looking at things differently. I certainly haven’t read all the info emanating from TWS, but today I have read of setting a membership target soon. This seems to me more about potential growth than potential shortfall, though I suppose there is a connection.
Also discussion on the demise of various retailers offering an opportunity for recruitment. I didn’t myself pick up an implication that this meant a need for large numbers, but maybe I missed something.
It seems to me that selling to the public would make TWS just another wine company, as which it might or might not succeed.
I don’t think the society needs to sell to non members to justify a physical presence somewhere, and I wasn’t suggesting it.
I, and hundreds of members of TWS often pronounce on ‘stinkers’ - you can find these comments in the online member’s review section on each and every wine past and present that TWS sells. Look at the reviews for TWS Red Burgundy if you don’t believe me.
As for ‘social media influencers’ reviews… well I have more trust in the cross section of members opinions. Plus I simply do not have the time to waste following social media.
I might add, that feedback from TWS members is one of the societies greatest strengths. This is why it must NEVER become a retail operation selling to non-members (de-mutualise in other words)