Vagabond Wines plans to create 10-strong chain

31 May, 2013

Vagabond Wines has outlined its ambitions to create a 10-strong chain of wine shops with its second site opening in the autumn.

Stephen Finch set up the first store in Fulham in 2010, offering more than 100 wines in sampling machines and deliberately stocking a pared-down range to make shopping less confusing.

It was crowned Independent Wine Retailer of the Year at OLN’s 2013 Drinks Retailing Awards and the store will now serve as the blueprint for a small chain which Finch plans to develop over the next five years.

The second site will open on London’s Charlotte Street in September, following a similar concept but with more focus on the on-trade side and wholesale.

Finch told OLN: “There will be more emphasis on the on-trade and we are also very bullish about the wholesale opportunity in the area.

“Fulham has been an amazing success and I have been looking for a second site for almost 18 months. But I’ve been really picky because it has to be right. It’s smack in the middle of Charlotte Street with high footfall and bustling bars and restaurants.

“We have so many customers who come in and say the concept’s great and they wish they had one near them. We have learned from Fulham that if we get the location and what we do right people really respond.

“Once you get to two or three stores, the economies of scale get really interesting. I want to get to 10 by 2018 and it’s definitely achievable if we get the right sites.”




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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 – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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