Vagabond outlines plans for next four stores

Vagabond is gearing up to add four stores to its estate over the next eight months.

The company, which operates wine bar and shop hybrid sites throughout London, recently opened its sixth store in Paddington.  

It currently has four additional sites in the pipeline, with the first expected to open in late September, one in October or November, another in December and one in March 2020. The sites will be in the City, Canary Wharf and on the South Bank. 

Managing director Stephen Finch told DRN: “We are now heavier on the on-trade side and these new sites will continue with this format, but we will always maintain a retail element. 

“The new sites will be larger, similar in size to our Victoria, Paddington and Battersea sites. They will have a larger footprint because we find that has been more interesting for us. One of our biggest challenges is that, during busy periods, we can’t get enough people to fit into the smaller units. 

“We have looked at areas that have a high concentration of good quality office workers. In the daytime they come for the retail element and at night they come in for drinks.”

Finch said the on and off-trade elements of the four new stores will be mixed together in one space for efficiency purposes, and the company has never felt the need to separate the two parts of the business in each unit. 

He also said a significant proportion of the wines the company sells are ones it makes itself in its urban winery. The rest are imported directly, which means that the overall portfolio of wines is predominantly exclusive to Vagabond. 

He said: “The days of wanting to sell a case of wine to someone are long gone, so we really only expect retail sales on the wines we have exclusivity on. English wines are particularly popular, especially sales of our pet nat rosé, aided by some really good media attention from Olly Smith, which has translated into consumer interest.”

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