01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

The Society's Community

TWS Inventory

Over about 3 years I’ve noticed a number of posts to the effect that it’s a pity TWS doesn’t stock more wines made with this grape, wines made in this place, wines made by this person, and so on. Off the top of my head I can’t remember any saying what about stocking this INSTEAD of stocking that (though perhaps there have been). So generally the suggestion is to increase the inventory.

How big do we think the inventory should be? Unlimited? About the current size plus the extra wines I want? Just the wines I’m interested in and any other others that are convenient? Some other size?

I’m fairly sure the size of the inventory is determined by operational, efficiency, cost, and other factors, but if it were possible?


Goodness knows how to answer this. Surely the safest option is for one to purchase his/her wines from a wider list of suppliers. Inventories should also change too, depending on vintage surely, albeit this would annoy some who collect verticals. Personally, for my requirements I think TWS has it about right.


I think there’s an interesting tie in here with another set of threads we have on wine X has sold out too quickly. Given that space is finite, to increase the range, they’d need to decrease the volume and popular wines could sell out even more quickly.

@AnaGramWords has hit the nail on the head with the people using a wider range of suppliers, change, and the TWS being about right with its current number of lines.


Perhaps I wasn’t very clear, and I certainly wasn’t expecting a definite answer, rather hoping to start more discussion.

Personally I’m quite happy with the inventory offered. I’ve read several comments from buyers that they are only allowed to buy a certain number of wines. So it seems to me that suggestions for new wines need to be roughly matched by suggestions for wines to be removed. I’m sure it can be a lot harder to finish with certain suppliers than to start with new ones. In the community we seem to be quite strong on new suggestions, less good on removals. The reaction to the divorce from Wither Hills springs to mind. I suppose I was wondering if people had ever given this any thought?

Is TWS a big merchant? I was wondering whether to compare it to Berrys or Farr or whoever in terms of size. I assume it must be smaller than these because the inventory is certainly smaller.

I am always curious as to why TWS has so few fortified wines. Compared to other reasonable sized players.

How do you compare it? Turnover? For a business with a significant broking arm like Farr that might be a bit misleading, though I accept that they have a large inventory of ‘owned’ wines too . Balance sheet stock needs funded, broking doesn’t.

Also, are you defining ‘inventory’ by number of lines of stock? Or value? I assume it must be the former as it’s easier to determine, the latter requires some analysis of their balance sheets. I suspect that TWS will have a lot of bottles of a fair number of relatively low value wines that the likes of Farr won’t. Stock turnover is important too. Farr is more focused on the premium end and more international too. A quick look at their range tells you it is very focused on the top end, where they carry multiple vintages of many top wines.

Maybe TWS focus their (our!) balance sheet on what most members want and buy. In fortified, Port EP offers probably cater for some customers, and there tends to be a focus on a relatively small number of popular wines here I agree.


Surely this will come down to warehousing and will be step change in nature and then following logistical constraints will be driven by commercial, working capital and profitability considerations.