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Nicolas sells UK franchise to Spirited Wines

Published:  02 February, 2012

Nicolas has sold its UK stores to Spirited Wines - to be operated under franchise.

Under the arrangement the 43 London stores will continue to trade under the Nicolas name, while Spirited Wines 14 other stores will trade under the Spirited Wines banner.

Back in August 2010, Nicolas' former operations director Benoit Thouvenin, bought the 18 Nicolas stores located outside the M25, which now form the Spirited Wines estate.

Eudes Morgan, general manager of Nicolas France, said the firm was "delighted" at the deal and the new partnership with Spirited Wines.

"The Nicolas franchise that we are developing now in the UK is a new strategy which will allow us to pursue our activity in this market, but is still rich and promising for the future.

"The presence of our insignia at the very premium London sites and the selection of our wine range within Spirited Wines across the country will allow us to work with our new partner in these development projects."

Benoit Thouvenin, managing director of Spirited Wines, said the acquisition was an "excellent opportunity" for the firm.

"We now have the opportunity to tackle the London market, which has so far been a challenge.

He said under the terms of the franchise agreement "we will keep the Nicolas insignia but it will be less prominent".

"We hope to put in place a unique range with our partners which will give us the chance to make a difference in this very competitive market," added Thouvenin. 

Nicolas's first UK shop in Kew was a franchise deal. Nicolas is owned by French parent firm Castel, which operates a chain of stores under the Nicolas banner in France.