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Oxford Wine Company to open new premises in its hometown

Published:  22 February, 2017

The Oxford Wine Company is poised to open a retail shop in the centre of Oxford as part of a new strategy to focus on its home area.

The business, which already has two stores around Oxford alongside a couple of wine bars, said the new shop would open this summer and would stock its full range of wines and spirits.

The city centre outlet would plug a gap for a "serious wine merchant" in the middle of Oxford, said MD and owner Ted Sandbach, and would attract students and tourists who did not necessarily know its other sites - one which is on the fringe of Oxford and one 10 miles outside the city that forms part of the company's HQ and wholesale depot.

The latest opening, which follows the closure of The Oxford Wine Company's retail outlets in Gloucestershire and Cirencester four and one years ago respectively, would help even up the company's wholesale and retail businesses, with the former currently accounting for 70% of its turnover, Sandbach told Harpers.

The Oxford Wine Company would from now on concentrate on the Oxford area where it started out in 1992 and was "well known", he added.

Sandbach said he expected to recover the £75,000 - £100,000 invested in the new premises within the first two to three years, adding that the closure of the Gloucestershire and Cirencester stores had not been "necessary".

"The shops weren't making losses but they didn't add much either and were just hard work."

There are not plans to open further shops in the foreseeable future, but the business is keen to grow its wine bar portfolio. 

The city centre shop, located in Turl Street, will be managed by Mark Warde-Aldam, who Sandbach said The Oxford Wine Company had lured from his position as senior manager at Majestic's Summertown Oxford store.