Venus rising in cash and carry

The Venus on-trade wholesaling business, which owns the Wine Rack chain, is to move back into cash and carry.

The company is planning to open an upmarket cash and carry aimed at specialist independents alongside a new head office being built in Tottenham, north London.

The move marks a return to the business sector that Venus first traded in.

The outlet is scheduled to open in Easter week.

Chairman Laki Christoforou said: “There is nowhere really niche for quality independents to go. Often they can’t buy direct from suppliers because of the quantities.

“We’re not going to compete with Booker or Makro, but if you want a choice of 300 Burgundies, this will be the place to come to.”?Venus is also planning to link its Wine Rack online transactional site with that of its Gerry’s spirits business when it goes live at the end of March.

The sites will feature direct links to each other and customers will be able to put products from both into a single shopping cart.

Christoforou said: “The infrastructure is there and all the products are there. It’s just a matter of setting up the bank details – but the back end is there.”?The group is looking for a second Wine Rack site in Bristol as part of its 2011 expansion plans.

“Venus has a lot of on-trade customers in Bristol so it makes sense to have stores there we can service when the vans go down there.”