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International Journal of Wine Business Research ; 34(3):349-372, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1909116


Purpose>This study statistically examines the shifting distribution channels in the American wine industry based on the growth trajectory of sales, seasonality and disruption due to consumers switching to online platforms. The purpose of this paper is to design a model that will have general applicability beyond the wine industry.Design/methodology/approach>The research uses regression-based additive decomposition of time series data to predict the trajectory of the market share for the digital distribution channel. The study develops a statistical prediction model using time series data between 2007 and 2020, inclusive, sourced from US Annual Wine Reports and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms databases.Findings>The results show an increasing trajectory of wine sales through the online distribution channel with predictable seasonality. The disruptive effects of consumer switching behavior point to a steady increase in sales due both to increasing demand and accelerating switching. Nevertheless, the model shows that bricks and mortar purchases will remain strong and continue to account for the bulk of wine sales. COVID-19 has caused a step function increase in online sales but this should moderate after the crisis subsides and can be tested further.Originality/value>This study is original in developing a model for an industry where bricks and mortar sales are growing and are expected to remain strong while there is still identifiable switching to online sales. The wine industry presents a classic case of accelerating switching behavior where there is still a strong franchise for in-store purchases. The model should have general applicability to distribution channels beyond the wine industry where steady growth, marked seasonality and disruptive consumer switching are in evidence.