Berry Bros & Rudd starts work on Europe’s largest fine wine storageBy Arabella Mileham
The UK’s oldest wine merchant has started work on its bespoke new 14m bottle capacity warehouse in Andover Business Park that is set to be Europe’s largest fine wine store for private clients.
The new 100 acre site in Hampshire will be able to house around 14m bottles of wine at controlled temperatures and humidity, which the independent merchant said would position the UK as “a leader in Europe and the world for fine wine collecting”. It will also have offices and a staff room
The historic retailer already has a warehouse and a shop in nearby Basingstoke.
Business invesment director Edward Rudd said the firm was delighed with the investment, which was expected to be operational in the summer of 2022 which reflects BBR’s growing desire for fine wine collection and cutting-edge, ultra-secure storage.
“To offer the largest fine wine storage facility in Europe will help us realise our ambition to support fine wine collections now and in the future,” he said.
Berry Bros. & Rudd currently stores fine wine for more than 37,000 clients and it seeing a rise in interest in collecting.
The facility, which will have easy transport links to the South East and West of England, is set to be carbon neutral, with energy supplied by solar panels on the roof, and rainwater harvesting. It will also have charging points for electric cars.
The 117,500 sq ft site is being developed by Goodman and wine temperature control specialists, Winvic.
Goodman’s development director George Glennie said the site would provide a “state-of-the-art, flexible and carbon neutral space to serve their clients’ rising demand”.
In December, the fine wine merchant celebrated its best year in a decade, which saw underlying group sales rise to £220.45m in the year to 31 March 2020, while underlying group operating profit (excluding en primeur adjustment) grew by 214% to £5.238m, up from £1.667m the previous year. The customer private reserve storage business, which was unaffected by the pandemic in the last few months of that financial year, rose 21% year-on-year.
It followed a restructuring of the core business under its then executive chairman Lizzy Rudd, who has since returned to her role as chairman, following the appointment of Emma Fox in July 2020. It should be noted that the impact of Covid-19 was only felt in the last few weeks of the 2020 financial year.
However in June it was revealed that the retailer was reviewing its UK wholesale division, Fields, Morris & Verdin in the wake of the pandemic, with it later being confirmed that the portfolio would be streamlined and a stronger focus placed on luxury and independent retailers and high-end on-trade.