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South West indie retailer plans store expansion

Independent wine retailer, The Beckford Bottle Shop, is planning to expand its operation in the South West of England and open five new shops over the next 12 months. 

A woman’s hand reaches out to select a bottle of red wine from the shelf of a wine shop

The retailer, which opened it first shop in the Wiltshire town of Tisbury in 2015, is part of reknowned hospitality group The Beckford Group, which operates four gastro-pubs and inns in the South West. The group has made a name for itself due to the good food and original style that blends contemporary and quirky traditional style.

The inns comprise The Bath Arms at Longleat, The Beckford Arms at Fonthill,  The Talbot Inn in Mells and  The Lord Poulett in Hinton St George. In 2018 it opened a second bottle shop and bistro in Bath, which was later awarded a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide for its creative, small dishes.

Tim Gardner, development director at The Beckford Bottle Shop said the Tisbury and Bath locations both long histories of housing independent-retailers serving the local communities, and the look, feel and  atmosphere of the shops themselves played an integral role in the overall offer.

“Our hybrid model, whereby people can shop online or browse in-store, chat to staff and maybe enjoy a glass of wine and some food, helps engender a wonderful sense of community. We would love to expand into areas with a comparable feel, forging similar links with local people, and building strong customer ties,” he said.

West country-based property consultant Carter Jonas has been appointed to find suitable sites across Wilshire, Somerset, Dorset and Hampshire, particularly the towns of Marlborough, Winchester, Sherborne and Bradford-on-Avon.

The team behind the Beckford Group includes Charlie Luxton, former operations manager at Soho House, and his business partner Dan Brod, who also worked at the private member club, and Matt Greenlees, the former general manager of Babington House hotel and health club. Entrepreneur Nick Jones, owner of Babington House and chief executive of Soho House UK, is also involved as an investor and silent parter in the business.

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