Inspiring independents: The Good Spirits Company

17 April, 2015

The Good Spirits Company makes a real specialism of spirits in its central Glasgow shop and its extensive and in-depth online range.

Matthew McFadyen, a former Oddbins branch manager, set up the business with partners Shane Goodbody, also ex-Oddbins, and whisky blogger and organiser of Glasgow’s Whisky Festival, Mark Connelly, who has since left the business.

In-store tastings and dinners encourage customers to trade up and the retailer has no problem selling premium and super-premium spirits, with whiskies from all over the world ranging in price from around £20 to £449.50 for Glenglassaugh 1975 38 Year Old Cask #7801 Moscatel Finish.

With plenty of spirits open for tasting on the shop floor every day, the Good Spirits Company is able to showcase its broad range, which includes a gin selection that is currently being grown from some 60 to 80 lines.

American, Japanese and Indian whiskies are also represented, along with an extensive range of gin, rum, vodka and tequila.

The retailer is to open a specialist wine and beer shop around the corner from its current store next month.

It is McFadyen and Goodbody’s first move into table wine, and moving beer out of the existing shop will give it space to grow its spirits range, with gin particularly tipped for expansion as a result.

Can you sum up your shop in one sentence?

The Good Spirits Company offers a superb shopping experience and Glasgow’s finest range of whisky, gin, rum and many other fine spirits.

What sets you apart from other drinks retailers?

Our range and friendly staff who are extremely passionate and knowledgeable.

Who is your fiercest competitor?

Online retailers.

And how do you maintain an edge over them?

It’s all about the service we offer – you just can’t give that online.

How do you keep customers coming back?

We are always looking for new products – that combined with our regular in-store tastings.

What area of the business is performing best at the moment?

Gin is seeing real growth, as is craft beer.

What’s your biggest challenge as a retailer?

Finding the time to spend on the shop floor. Engaging with our customers is so important.

Give us your top retailing tip:

Invest time with your customers.

What has been your biggest business mistake?

As we are a team, we tend to stop ourselves making too many mistakes. But probably the biggest I can think of was overinvesting in stock for the Commonwealth Games and seeing absolutely no return.

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