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French bag-in-box only retailer BiBoViNo seeks UK franchisees

Published:  10 February, 2015

French bag-in-box only wine retailer BiBoViNo is actively seeking UK franchisees to expand its 10-strong estate internationally.

The brand is based solely around 25 2 and 3-litre bag-in-box wines sourced only from France - although it is looking to work with producers from Italy and Spain in the coming months - all of which are packaged in almost identical lavender blue boxes.

BiBoViNoBiBoViNo is keen to enter the UK marketThe BIB only retailer is seeking franchisees to expand its empire across the Channel.

Founder Frantz Roesch told the potential is "huge" for more premium wines in boxes. "In France in the past 15 years it has grown to account from just under 10% of sales to one third. But in many countries it has a reputation of being used only for low quality wines." Roesch is determined to change that perception. Each of its wines is available to taste in the shops, which Roesch says has been fundamental in changing consumer prejudices about bag-in-box wines. Prices range from €20-€40 for 3 litres, with its new Médoc range coming in at €40 for 2 litres.

It operates nine shops in France, one in Tel Aviv, and one soon to open in Brussels, Belgium. But the UK is high on its agenda. "We are actively looking for franchisees [in the UK] who would be interested in our concept. Germany and the Netherlands are also priorities, and of course the US - though that will take longer. We'd like to open in the UK as soon as possible - we're hoping it will be this year. We have already made some contacts and are checking out the regulations, as obviously we would like to be both a wine cellar and wine bar."

The company would like to have between 50 and 100 sites in the near future, and has secured the financial backing of one of France's most high-profile global retail successes - founder of natural beauty retailer L'Occitane Olivier Baussan.

Its wine expert is Bruno Quenioux - founder of top French department store Les Galleries Lafayette's wine cellar - who is well-known and respected among French winemakers. This helps persuade otherwise reticent producers to package their wines in bag-in-box, Roesch said.

To read a full account of Roesch's plans for the brand, read our Q&A here. (subscribers only)