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Looking ahead: Phil Innes, owner, Loki Wine

Published:  15 August, 2019

As the first half of 2019 draws to a close, Harpers asked key trade figures to highlight the current challenges, ongoing trends and opportunities

We continue our series with insights from Phil Innes, owner, Loki Wine

How has the first half of 2019 been when compared to the same period in 2018?

It was a very strong period for us surprisingly.

What were the highs and lows for your own business in the first six months of 2019?

I think the general overall sales strength has been certainly a high, however we have had a couple of shrinkage issues which I think points towards higher retail crime in general.

What, currently, are the biggest challenges for the trade?

The same as for the last three years Brexit *yawn*

Will you be preparing in any way for a second potential ‘no deal’ or some deal Brexit day on 31 October and, if so, how?

No, I have taken the view that what will be will be, we have already made some efficiency savings, and streamlined some of our processes. I believe people will still buy wine regardless of what happens.

Taking current trading conditions into account, what’s your strategy for meeting those challenges during the second half of the year, leading up to the crucial Christmas trading period?

We will just continue as usual, we would have made all our Christmas purchases by then, and we will take a view in the New Year.

What will the focus be on with regard to your portfolio (and any updates) and why?

We will look to do what we always have done, and that is find new interesting producers, regions & products.

For you, what are the most significant emerging trends in the drinks world?

Spirits are still going really strong, and the gin crazy has got extra interest in the category. I am really hoping that vermouth really kicks on this next year.

What innovations in the drinks world do you believe will have the most impact going forward?

I think the continuing technological advances in corks is really interesting and directly benefits consumers.

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

England to win the Ashes.