Top 10 independent wine retailers pt 1

27th August, 2014 by Gabriel Stone

You could be forgiven for thinking that the UK’s independent wine retail sector was in the middle of an exciting revival.

Wine-Bottle-350x350From the ashes of fallen giants such as Wine Rack, Oddbins and Threshers have arisen small clusters of eager new enterprises. Meanwhile the rise of online shopping has spawned a host of internet-based wine operations, using their low overheads to undercut traditional high street merchants. Wine lovers have never had so much choice, although whether that’s a good thing is a whole different area of debate.

Despite the feel-good mantra that these smaller players offer a compelling alternative to the supermarkets, it’s difficult to dispel a sneaking feeling that many are simply in competition with each other. That said, the recent expansion of several wine retailers in London indicates that the biggest UK metropoleis are capable of supporting a colourful array of specialists alongside the bigger players.

In order to build a picture of what’s really going on in the UK independent sector, the challenges, changes and opportunities that are shaping its modern landscape, we shone a spotlight on 10 merchants from every corner of the country. Some have been around for centuries, others sprung up in the middle of the recent downturn; a few have built their business around a single location, several are in the process of opening new outlets. However, for all their diversity of size, site and specialism, what unites these operations is evidence of a dynamic outlook that balances a deep love and knowledge of wine with a pragmatic understanding of what it takes to stay afloat in their chosen sector today. It’s also worth noting that not a single one relies entirely on pure off-trade retail sales: a strong wholesale customer base or a hybrid wine bar offering stand out as two particularly crucial sources of revenue.

Above all however, these snapshots manage to combine a hard hitting dose of realism for anyone entertaining the idea of setting up their own wine business with an inspiring vista of a thriving independent retail landscape. For those consumers – and indeed producers – who value this type of environment, each of the merchants featured here reinforces the UK’s long-held reputation as one of the most attractive wine markets on the planet.

Scroll through to find out which independent retailers are currently making waves in the UK wine scene…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Commercial/Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Bremhill/Home office, GB

Wine Buyer

Adnams
Southwold, UK

Sales Manager - Scotland

Eurowines Ltd
Scotland

Sales Manager - North-West England

Eurowines Ltd
North-West England, UK

Sales Manager - London

Eurowines Ltd
London, UK

Key Account Manager - Grocery

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Business Development Manager

Regency Wines Ltd
North Devon & Somerset, UK

Sales Manager - North East England

Eurowines Ltd
Within 15-20 mile radius of York, UK

National Account Manager

Ehrmanns Wines
London, UK

London Account Manager

The Drinks Club
London, UK

London Sales Executive

Gourvid Limited
London and Greater London, GB

Logistics Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
Park Royal, London, UK

Head of Sales - Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
Kent/ London, UK

London Sales Executive

VDS UK Ltd
London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more