TALKING HEADS

23 February, 2007

Richard Meadows

The Great Grog Company, Edinburg

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It's our round - what are you having?

Large glass of decent, ie not branded, Champagne to start please.

Your shop is burning down - what three things do you grab as you leg it out the door?

Cash, stock, staff - not necessarily in that order.

What's the most bizarre thing that has happened to you while serving a customer?

The roof was gushing from a burst pipe and I had to put an umbrella over the E pos till to keep it dry. It was New Year's Eve in Oddbins so I couldn't shut.

What do you wish you had known when you started out as a retailer?

That it would be so easy.

If your profits doubled tomorrow, how would you spend the money?

Back into the business - ie on drink.

If you could swap jobs with anyone in the world for one day, who would it be and why?

Fred the Shred, the chief exec of the RBS. Why? To reduce my business banking charges so I don't have to change bank to the Alliance & Leicester. Why would anyone in business moan about the banks?

How do you deal with irritating customers?

Point them gently in the direction of competitors.

If you could change one thing about the drinks industry what would it be?

Get rid of everyone in marketing departments all over the world who invent what they like to call "innovative drinks".

In a nutshell my philosophy is:

Never have a business plan, just get on with it.




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COMMENT

Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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