Birmingham independent Loki is to grow its flagship store and expand across the city with two new shops. 

The wine retailer, which opened in 2012 in Great Western Arcade in the city centre, has taken over the unit next door, formerly the Whisky Shop. It will increase its ground floor area to 1,200sq ft and open up its upstairs space. 

The integration of the second unit is expected to be completed by September.

Store manager Victoria Platt told DRN: “We will have a bigger seating area upstairs so we have more space for tastings, and a kitchen area will give us the opportunity to be more versatile, perhaps with chefs coming in. 

“We are first and foremost a wine shop but sales of our spirits, particularly gin, have been growing rapidly. 

“Up until now if we wanted to add more gins we had to reduce the space for wine, which we haven’t really wanted to do. So the bigger shop will allow us to increase the size of our spirits offering.”

Loki hopes to add more mezcal as well as extra gins and other spirits. 

The company has two more shops in the pipeline this year, which will each be in residential areas within 2.5 miles of Birmingham’s city centre. 

Platt said: “One will be more bohemian and will focus more on the beer market, probably with craft beer on tap.” 

She added: “It will be young and funky – less corporate than the flagship store – and we will probably run our natural wine tastings from this venue. 

“The other store will be more upmarket with a greater focus on the wine bar element, so all the shops will be slightly different, although they will all stock a core range of drinks. 

“The nice thing for us will be having three stores near each other that aren’t carbon copies of each other.”

The additional stores will also help to satisfy growing demand for its drinks events. 

For example, the company’s fortnightly gin tasting sessions have become “extremely popular”, according to Platt, and could be spread out across the three sites.

The business, which is a wine shop with an on-trade element, is unique across Birmingham, according to Platt, who said the time is right for expansion to meet increasing demand and support growing sales.

The existing shop offers up
to 40 wines that can be sampled by the glass at any one time and it currently has 600 fine wines and spirits for take-home purchases.