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Woodwinters embarks on Scottish expansion plan

Published:  15 December, 2008

Scottish wine merchant Woodwinters is embarking on an expansion plan that will see it triple in size within a year.

The merchant, set up by husband and wife team Cara Winters and Douglas Wood three year ago, has hired Valvona & Crolla's former wine buyer John Ritchie and head of sales Mike Billinghurst to spearhead the move.

The retailers plan to launch into Edinburgh's south side and are planning similar stores in Perth and Glasgow next year.

Wood told The Scotsman: "The blend of our business model, which is one-third wholesale, one-third retail and one-third private clients, has worked really well and we thought that formula would fit Edinburgh.

"The next year is going to see a lot of changes in the way people buy wine and how they spend their money. But we see an opportunity, as we stock wines that have character and are not put on a shelf by an accountant with a fake half price."

Ritchie and Billinghurst ran Valvona & Crolla's wine department for more than 10 years, winning a string of awards and earning a reputation, particularly in London, as the UK's best Italian specialist.