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Jeroboams reveals plans to almost double estate

Published:  08 March, 2021

Jeroboams has revealed plans to open up to seven new shops in London during the next few years.

CEO Matt Tipping told Harpers the independent merchant was hoping to grow its current eight-strong portfolio of shops to 12 to 15 in the next “two, three, four” years. 

“This is about doing things in a sensible manner so probably one or two shops in the next 12 months, see how they settle in and then roll again. We are not rushing to do it but we just want a staged process," he said.

Recognising that a lot of debates in the media is about physical versus online, Tipping however said he did “not see it like that”. 

“I'm really committed to physical locations and sites. I think you should be taking the best of both and combining them, that's what's gonna make for really secure businesses. We accept we have a higher cost base in our shops, but also we want to meet people, see people face-to-face and have those interactions.”

The expansion plans follow Jeroboams having to go from being in a “quite offensive and investing mode” to “just taking a step back” as a result of Covid-19.

But although the business would “without doubt see lower turnover this year”, having had virtually zero income from its Jeroboams Trade [its on-trade and corporate arm], which accounts for about 30% of its total sales, turnover had been boosted by a strong performance from its private sales, said Tipping.

“En primuer campaigns helped but away from that we have seen customers that were previously cash rich and time poor suddenly having time and not spending money looking to engage with fine wine more, and looking to us to provide drinking wines as well as those wines that they're storing away and collecting and that has offset what we've seen with Jeroboams Trade.”

Alongside its ambitious retail expansion plans, Tipping also revealed that Jeroboams was turning its focus on the on-trade too, which he said had not grown but stayed still in the past five years. 

As part of this, the business snatched up Lucie Parker from Liberty Wines last month, appointing her to the role of Jeroboams Trade director.    

“We have brought Lucie in to really reinvigorate that and look at how we can get growth coming through the on-trade,” said Tipping.

The coming year would be about “laying foundations” for the following year, he added, estimating Jeroboams would increase the on-trade side of the business by a minimum of 50% growth and “potentially we can even double that over the coming years”. 

“We are going to invest in staff and we firmly believe we have a portfolio of wines that are really well suited to on-trade.”

See here for the full Jeroboams profile piece in the March issue of Harpers.