London-based wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros & Rudd opened its new spirits shop with the aim of expanding its offering. Shop manager George Turner talks about the product range and future plans for the store

We’ve got a long history of spirits at Berry Bros & Rudd. We’re generally better-known for our
wine background, so the new store opening is really about bringing spirits to the forefront. Since opening, it’s been a really positive and humbling experience, particularly now that we’re about to have so many more products, and we’ve had a lot of positive commentary from customers on the range.

We’ve seen a 42% year-on-year revenue growth in the spirits category alone. So for us, opening the shop was a no-brainer. The new store represents the commitment that our business has to the spirits category.

We’ve doubled our retail proposition. The shop is joined to our original store, so customers come into the wine shop and then realise that we have spirits as well. It’s been really nice to engage existing customers as well as new ones. It’s a very visually arresting shop, so you can come in and know nothing about spirits but can’t help being taken aback by the beauty of the space.

There are around 1,000 products on offer. That’s split between whisky, rum, sake, agave, aperitifs, brandy and a reserve of rare bottlings. Whisky has always got such a large footprint in any spirits offering, but with the new shop opening we have been able to increase our world whisky range. We’ve got a lot more whiskies from outside of Scotland, including India, Australia, England and Ireland.

Tequila and agave spirits is an incredibly exciting category. It offers something that a lot of consumers haven’t really had before. Coming from a wine background, I find mezcal utterly enthralling because it’s a variety-driven spirit and there are hundreds of different agave varieties which all have a unique character.

We’re still exploring what we can do with the space. We’re going to continue doing our free consumer tastings, but we’re also looking at expanding our evening tasting events. Whether that’s an introduction into a category for a small group, or events where we have producers come into talk about their products, we’re still trialling what we can do with the shop and seeing what consumers respond to. The shop represents the commitment our business has to the spirits category, but it also highlights the response our customers have had to our spirits range.