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The New Zealand Cellar crowdfunds to raise money for first shop

Published:  07 April, 2015

Online retailer The New Zealand Cellars has launched a crowdfunding project to raise funds to open its first retail shop.

Online retailer The New Zealand Cellar has launched a crowdfunding project to raise funds to open its first retail shop.

The boutique wine e-commerce business, which was launched last June by New Zealand wine expert Melanie Brown, is looking to raise £35,000 through Kickstarter to fit out the new shop. It is offering investors "rewards" for pledges, including invitations to exclusive events at its retail space, limited-edition New Zealand winery prints, Riedel tasting glasses and private wine events with Melanie and her team. There will be eight tiers of rewards, and investors can pledge anything from £10 to £1,000.

They crowdfunding will be used to build, design and fit the outlet, which will include a small outside seating area where customers can order wines by the glass or carafe. In addition to the New Zealand Shop, which will stock its full range of 200 wines from diverse producers, tt will also hold tastings, and meet the winemaker event within the development's event space.

"We want to create a retail space here that the New Zealand wine industry would be proud of," Brown said. "By pledging to support us in becoming London's first New Zealand wine retail outlet people will be helping to grow the reputation of premium New Zealand wine in the UK and giving it the recognition it deserves. If we can change the perception of just a small group of consumers each week and educate them to spend a few extra pounds on fine NZ wine, our goals will be achieved."

Brown told Harpers the business has always intended to open a retail outlet, but admitted the business "didn't see it happening quite so soon". But the business had been given the opportunity to be part of a new private development in Brixton, South London, which will include restaurants, bars and an event space and it was very keen to "jump on board". Business in the development would participate in the community by offering training facilities, talks and tastings through Lambeth College.

"We liked the opportunity to give back to the local community and thought it was very forward-looking," she said.

It would enable the business to engage, promote and educate customers about New Zealand wine in the UK and support producers by celebrating New Zealand wine face-to-face with customers, she added.

Brown is looking to raise the money within two weeks, before fitting the shell of the new development into a shop. The New Zealand Shop will open in mid-May, and is likely to relocate its offices from Streatham to the new shop once it is up and running, she added.

The shop will stock around 200 wines from 70 producers but is looking to grow.

"Sales have been good and we've been blown away by the response to the business," she said.