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Online retailer New Zealand Cellar set to open first London shop this week

Published:  27 May, 2015

Online wine retailer The New Zealand Cellar is set to open its first retail shop in London this week, which has been funded entirely through crowd-funding.

The New Zealand specialist e-retailer, which was launched last June by New Zealand wine expert Melanie Brown, launched a crowdfunding exercise through Kickstarter in April to raise £35,000 to set up its first shop, but exceeded its target within five days. By the end of the crowdsourcing project, it had raised 21% above its target (£42,502) which Brown said would be used to synchronize the website so that it links to stock in the new shop in real time.

The shop, which will be open seven days a week from 10am, is part of the new Pop Brixton development, which has been constructed out of upcycled shipping containers. Other businesses in the development include Japanese tea house, Kyocha, Miss P's Atlanta BBQ, vintage clothing sellers Make Do & Mend and Music PR company, Toast Press.

Brown said the retail space had always part of the plan for the business in the long term and formed the next logical step.

"The shop will give us an everyday opportunity to engage one-on-one with customers about New Zealand wine, to share stories of producers featured in our portfolio and to introduce people to styles and varietals they may not have tried before," she said.

"Our goals are focussed around taking the often daunting notion of wine away and ensuring each customer is left with a better understanding and enjoyment. We want to ensure the online shop remains just as important to us as we continue to start and build on relationships with our customers across the UK and Europe."

It will stock over 200 new Zealand wines from 70 producers and there will be a varied selection of wines that customers can order by the glass or carafe in the outside seating area. Brown confirmed that pricing in the shop would reflect the online price, so any wine purchased for drinking onsite would be at the same as the retail price. "It ensures customers can pick up a serious 'drink in' bargains," she said.

It will also hold tastings and meet the winemaker event within Pop Brixton's development's event space and participate in the development's community training scheme, offering talks and tastings through Lambeth College.