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Looking ahead: Ruth Yates, founder and MD, Cork’s Out

Published:  20 December, 2017

With the all-important Christmas trading period underway - and hopefully turning passion into profit for the UK’s wine and spirits operators - we at Harpers are looking ahead past New Year to see what’s in store for the trade in 2018.

We continue our series with insights from Cork's Out founder and MD Ruth Yates:

What were the highs and lows for you and your business in 2017?

I’ll start with the low, so I can end on a positive… We closed our Chester store on 1 January to carry out a major refurbishment for 6 weeks - the low was the fact that we couldn’t open again until 6 May due to complications, which had a negative effect on the profit and loss.

The high has most definitely been the result from our Chester branch refurb, for both the retail and the drink in concept, improving its profits.

What were the most significant things that happened or issues and trends that occurred in 2017?

Price increases due to unstable currency, although we welcomed the duty freeze!

Retail trends have changed with more customers purchasing by the bottle, rather than case sales, however, that has improved the average bottle price as they are definitely buying better quality.

What trends do you predict for 2018?

Bag in box increase, wine on tap, more gluten free options for beer… and grape ice cream. I really want to make grape ice cream, Chardonnay would be my favourite.

What are likely to be the biggest opportunities for the trade in 2018?

My grape ice cream and wine on tap.

What are the biggest challenges facing the trade in 2018?

An unstable economy, oh, and running out of gin.

Who are the people, companies or retailers to watch in 2018?

The customer is the one to watch. Too many companies are too busy watching their competition and forget their own and new customers.

What, for you, would make for a perfect Christmas?

If I told you that… I’d have to kill you!

New Year's resolution?

Drink more wine.