Direct Wines

Working on a vineyard in Bordeaux as a teenager inspired chairman Tony Laithwaite to start selling Bordeaux wines to Britons in 1969 under the name Bordeaux Direct. He teamed up with The Sunday Times in 1973 to establish The Sunday Times Wine Club, creating one of the world’s largest mail-order and online wine retailers. The Reading firm has a second online presence as Laithwaites, and has set up wine clubs with banks, insurance companies and British Airways. The family-owned business returned sales of £271.2m in 2006.

This profile reflects the company at time of publication and does not reflect any changes that may have subsequently occurred. Fast Track and its sponsors do not endorse, guarantee or recommend investment in any of the companies.

Company details
CompanyDirect Wines
ActivityWine merchant
Sales £m271.2
Operating profit £m12
Main shareholdersTony Laithwaite and family (100%)

If applicable:

* supplied by Company   † annualised figure   ‡  profit = ebitda