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Corney & Barrow drives growth through Merchant Business

Published:  17 November, 2017

Best known for its high end ‘By Royal Appointment’ fine wine, broker and private customer business, Corney & Barrow is striving to raise the profile of its trade business, which accounts for an increasing part of its 60m turnover year.

The company’s Merchant Business was launched ten years ago, being driven for the last three years by associate director and head of merchant sales James Franklin, now accounts for 80% of volume now sold by Corney & Barrow and 54% of its global business.

“We are known for fine wine and our private customer business, but a growing part of what we offer is our Merchant Business, which is focused on selling to the trade, and we want this to be better known,” spokesperson Anna Bell told Harpers.

Bell stressed that while Corney & Barrow retains its fine wine focused business, including its Asian offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, plus shops in Cambridgeshire and Edinburgh, it offers a more down to earth starting point for trade accounts.

“Our average bottle price [for trade] is £7 and we want to get that message out; we are not just about our more premium wines,” added Bell.

The company counts 4,000 lines in its almost exclusively wine-dominated portfolio, with 70% of those wines being exclusive agencies to Corney and Barrow, topped by the likes of Burgundy icon Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Champagne Salon.

Corney & Barrow’s Merchant Business has grown a solid base in the London area, servicing on-trade, events companies and contract caterers, with further successes in travel retail, counting company’s as diverse as Caprice Holdings and Cunard among its accounts.

Looking ahead, Franklin and his team are focusing on growing sales both in and beyond London, where they have identified potential for further expansion in the premium on-trade and independent sectors , plus building the travel retail side of the Merchant Business.

Some 60% of Merchant sales are currently beyond the M25.

Corney & Barrow will also be launching a new website early in 2018.