Shaper: Jay Wright

Show aired on 13th February 2016


Jay Wright was born in Peru and also lived in Houston, Texas for a few years as a child. He gained a degree in Economics and Politics from Manchester Polytechnic, was lead singer of a glam rock band called ‘Wild Affair’ and also worked at Manchester registry office marrying people!

In 1997 he set up World Wines Direct – a mail order wine business within Greenalls – and became MD before setting up his own mail order wine business, Warehouse Wines, launched in 2000. He sold the majority of his shares to Direct Wines two years later.

In 2008 Jay was also made Managing Director of Virgin Wines which was part of the Direct Wines group. His arrival heralded a significant period of restructuring, which included merging the Warehouse Wines brand with that of Virgin Wines. The merged company combined the best parts from both businesses by capitalising upon Virgin’s presence in the online sector and Warehouse Wines’ mail order experience. During Jay’s time at Virgin Wines he has spearheaded many major business innovations which have placed the Company in a powerful position, with consistent profitability and steady, quality growth in a challenging business climate.

Follow Jay on Twitter @jaywright1969

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We had the wrong guests in with the wrong weddings…the wrong brides…the wrong grooms…

When I first got asked to set up World Wines Direct, to be honest I knew nothing about wine, and nothing about mail order. So I was obviously ideal.

You just really kind of get captured by the whole spirit and passion of wine.

The problem with brands is that all brands teach you to do is buy the same thing, week in, week out.

I think you have to be passionate about everything in your life, and work has never been any different.

It is trying to get that balance between informality and having fun, and professionalism.

You try and make sure that you live and breathe that brand, and the values of that brand, within your own business.

Honesty is the best policy all the time, and you shouldn’t ever have anyone in your business who doesn’t know where they stand.