Amazon is attempting yet again to expand into the wine business, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The company revealed the plan during a workshop with winery executives in Napa, Calif., the WSJ reports. The service is expected to launch in time for the holidays, the report said.
Amazon plans to charge wineries a 15 percent commission, a $40 monthly fee and keep shipping and packaging responsibilities to the wineries. That leaves Amazon solely as an online marketplace for wine transactions.
In 2009, Amazon was planning to sell wine but that venture fell through when its partner, New Vine Logistics, abruptly shut down. Another failed effort came 12 years ago when Amazon invested $30 million in WineShopper and then saw the company go down less than a year later.
One difficulty with online wine sales are the state-to-state regulations for selling alcohol. It’s illegal for wineries to sell to consumers in about 12 states and the remaining have varying forms of shipping regulations.
Still, there is opportunity in the industry and especially for a company like Amazon. Wine sales in the U.S. have been growing for years now, with a record 347 million wine cases sold in 2011 for a retail value of $32.5 billion.
Photo via Flickr user Tobyotter