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The Good Wine Shop embraces hybrid model

Published:  31 August, 2017

West London merchant The Good Wine Shop has become the latest independent to roll out an on-premise food and wine element to its business with the launch of platters and by-the-glass wines at its Kew shop.

Speaking to Harpers at the newly refurbished outlet, one of two shops along with the company’s Chiswick branch, director Mark Wrigglesworth explained that the idea had been fomenting for some time, as he considered ways to expand his award winning business beyond its core retail base.

“It makes sense because there is a quite a strong community among the customers here and we have a good relationship with our customers, so we are not doing this because we need an extra revenue stream, but as an add on and a way of furthering our conversation with our customers,” he said.

Wrigglesworth explained that the physical and operational changes – primarily bringing in bespoke tables to the shop (and pavement outside) and employing extra part time staff on the weekend to help serve antipasto platters and smaller wine-friendly snacks – were easy to achieve, but that the new licence required had been “a bit of a challenge”.

“We’ve seen several operators go down this route – I know Vagabond well – but they have been in central London rather out in the ‘burbs’, so this is testing the waters.”

From its soft launch in late August the initiative appears to be a success, with customers readily adapting to their new ‘wine bar come shop’, with new customers also being drawn in.

“We are adding a layer to what we already offer for customers, which allows us to chat to them and find out more about what they like, and they can now come in for a glass and leave with a bottle that they may not have chosen before.”

Wrigglesworth explained that benefits to the business will include a higher by-the-glass margin of 20%, and possibly as an additional sale on top of an intended retail purchase, plus greater possibilities when it comes to now seating customers for the Good Wine Shop’s regular winemaker-led tastings.

If all goes well, the plan is to extend the on-sales side to the Chiswick outlet. 

A fuller profile of The Good Wine Shop will apear in Harpers September issue.