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Fenwick’s high hopes for new wine shop

Up-market department store Fenwick is hoping the newly designed wine shop at its Newcastle store will break down the barrier between traditional wine retailer and restaurant-style service, and encourage consumers to browse the fixture more effectively.

Fenwicks Newcastle's new wine shop
Fenwicks Newcastle’s new wine shop

The new Fenwick Wine Shop, which opened last month as part of a major redevelopment of the store’s Food Hall, has been increased in size and entirely overhauled to allows the buying team to increase its range of wines to around 500 products. A key part of the revamp is the introduction of a new Enomatic wine sampling machine.

Fenwick Wine Shop buyer Robin Winterschladen said it was an exciting prospect to be the first retailer in the region to house a wine dispenser.

“This hybrid of wine service and wine retail within our new Food Hall was really why we wanted to go down this route,” he told the drinks business. “We have always had a strong wine presence in Fenwick Newcastle and the Enomatic enables us to engage the customer more and ultimately extend the service that we can offer our shoppers.”

The machine will also be used in conjunction with the store’s new Mediterranean style restaurant and wine bar, Fuego. It will add a rolling selection of 16 wines to the Fuego wine list and customers can buy a preloaded card that allows them to choose 50ml sips in a wine flight, or a 125 or 175ml glass for the wine bar.

The team has also introduced a temperature controlled fine wine fridge, to develop the offering of top end wines, and added a selection of organic, biodynamic and natural wines.

“This is a really exciting area that we are developing and we’re pleased to see the positive response from our customers,” Winterschladen said. “A long time has been spent looking for new products that aren’t seen everywhere and that offer something different and we aim to offer a mix of classics and lesser-known wines. To that end have brought in more wines from boutique family growers and indigenous grape varieties.”

The shop has been redesigned with central floor fixtures and stand-alone units to offer better merchandising and lighting, and create more of a feature out of selected products. Wines are now displayed by country on one side, with the other side and back of the shop dedicated to spirit, local craft beers and world beers.

The spirit range includes over 200 whiskies, which are displayed along one wall stretching up to the ceiling, and around 60 gins on a central aisle

Fenwick also appointed Fiona McLain McAllen, who has previously a sommelier at Rockliffe Hall hotel in County Durham and worked at wine merchant Firth & Co, as a new assistant winemaker.

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