At first glance, the new store in the affluent Surrey town of Weybridge looks like any other local business, blending seamlessly into a high street frequented by multimillionaires, Chelsea footballers and other celebrities. But the once-derelict warehouse is actually the powerhouse behind the UK’s largest wine supplier, Accolade Wines, and the store in front is its first UK venture into bricks-and-mortar retailing.
In addition, the company has launched a direct-to-consumer website, www.1853wineclub.com, which distributes nationally, with no minimum order, free delivery for orders over £30, and 48-hour delivery in mainland UK. Orders are fulfilled direct from Accolade Park, the company’s vast warehouse and bottling plant in Bristol.
With Diageo and Fells already operating direct-to-consumer websites, albeit in a very low-key way, the 1853 Wine Club website model is not unique. However, teamed with a one-off bricks-and-mortar showroom, and the might of the Accolade Wines portfolio behind it, it’s one to watch.