DB Awards 2016: a report on the winners

Independent Retailer of the Year (sponsored by Les Grands Chais de France)

Borough winesWinner: Borough Wines

From a little outlet in Borough Market to last year opening its sixth and seventh stores.

Alongside a widened programme of supper clubs, cocktail glasses and winemaker dinners, Borough Wines stores have being playing host to drawing classes and book launches and the judges praised Borough Wines for this “imaginative” lifestyle approach that mixes wine with art and culture.

“Informal” yet with a keen business mind clearly at work (one of the new stores was opened in up-and-coming Hastings), the shops were also commended for contributing to a sense of community wherever they were located.

The expansion has also been deliberate and well thought out with each shop operating at a comfortable profit and online sales adding to the rising turnover.

WoodWintersRunner-up: Wood Winters Wines & Whiskeys

With an extensive rage of wines and spirits, the judges remarked that this was a “serious” business and one being built and developed in a measured and sensible way. The judges also liked the emphasis on being a local independent merchant that serves its customers well and which seeks to educate and advise drinkers, providing a worthwhile and credible alternative to a larger multiple-retailer.

Special commendation: Real Ale – The Shop

Now in its eleventh year, this Twickenham-based store continues to champion small scale British and international beers, ciders and perries. It’s role as supplier to multiple-retailer M&S has been a great step in bringing these products to a wider UK audience.

The shortlist:

  • Borough Wines
  • Real Ale – The Shop
  • Vagabond Wines
  • WoodWinters Wines & Whiskies

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