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Vindependents sets date for spirits launch

Published:  16 November, 2017

Vindependents has confirmed it will start importing spirits to the UK for the first time from January 2018.

The wine agent’s move into spirits, which was revealed exclusively by Harpers in June this year, will be spearheaded by “gin and other spirits”, founder Jessica Hutchinson told Harpers.

“We are looking for producers who show passion of product, rather than a passion for branding,” she said.

The aim was to provide members with brands exclusive to them where they could make the same margins as they did on Vindependents’ wines, she added.

The move to shake-up the UK spirits market with fresh competition comes after Hutchinson revealed to Harpers that it had secured its WOWGR (Warehouse keepers and Owners of Warehoused Goods Regulations) licence for spirits allowing it to proceed with the importation of spirits to the UK.

Until now, Vindependents has operated as a wine-buying group for independent wine merchants in Britain.

Independent wine merchants – who are members of Vindependents - welcomed the move, saying it would give them a new way to sell spirits without taking on the hefty unit costs involved of importing spirits individually, while also providing them with new alternatives to the well-known and big spirits brands distributed in Britain.

“We will buy direct from the producers and work on our existing consolidated shipping system. For example, if we are shipping Armagnac or Cognac from France we will consolidate orders from members and ship the required amount on pallets into Seabrooks,” Hutchinson explained.

“From there, if members have a WOWGR, they can have them transferred them into their accounts under bond or of not they will be transferred Duty Paid. The most important bit is that they can actually make some margin on spirits sourced through us as there won’t be price competition from other merchants of supermarkets,” she said.

Launched just two years ago, Vindependents now has 36 leading independent wine merchant members from across the country, including the Good Spirits company based in Glasgow, Scotland