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A move to Target

After years of offering its products primarily through wine-centric specialty retailers and mail-order catalogs, Riedel recently started selling its wine glasses at Target stores, an indication of the brand's mainstream appeal and also of the steadily growing popularity of wine in America. Georg Riedel said the venture was initiated by Target.

He was pleasantly surprised, as well as initially concerned, about how selling glasses through Target might impact the brand's cachet.

George Riedel said he did hear some complaints from other retailers who didn't appreciate the competition. "We made an offer available to Target that was made to other retailers in the same way. We are not doing anything different for Target -- we're maintaining the same price. We package the goods differently, and that's it."

Target is carrying a wide range of Riedel glasses, from several styles of wine stemware to martini, cognac and double old-fashioned glasses and decanters. Prices are about $10 apiece.

At least symbolically, the move into Target stores represents another big step for the Riedel family business, but Georg Riedel still sees his company's glass as a niche product for those who appreciate quality. "My approach is extremely modest. I believe that at the end of the day, the glass is only a small mosaic stone in the whole environment. It's my company and my life, but I understand the size and the importance of it."

Tim Teichgraeber is a San Francisco entertainment attorney and wine critic.


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