Selfridges Unveils Supersized Wine Shop
London department store Selfridges has revamped and expanded its wine department in a bid to tap into the booming fine wine market (UK-based wine industry advisory firm Premier Cru Fine Wine Investments predicts this market will grow globally by 22% by Christmas 2014).
Designed by London-based agency Campaign, the new-look Wine Shop has tripled in size and has been relocated to a prominent, high-footfall spot in the centre of the lower ground floor. The concept has drawn on materials used in the trade and transport of wine to create a rustic, informal setting. Wooden shelving and cork surfaces emulate stacked packing boxes, while signage on clipboards is reminiscent of those used for note-taking at wine tastings.
Customers are encouraged to learn about and sample different wines with self-dispensed tastings from the shop’s Enomatic machines – an Italian invention that preserves bottles of wine for weeks after they’ve been opened.
Among the 200 new product lines selected by department buyer Dawn Davies are wines from unexpected regions such as Turkey and Virginia, USA, and a large range of whiskies. “Whisky has been massive for us,” she told UK trade magazine Drinks Business in June 2013. We’d added whiskies from Taiwan, extended our Japanese whiskies and India’s now come on board.”
Selfridges has also introduced a range of Baijiu (distilled Chinese liquor) in an overture to the 150,000 Chinese tourists who visit London every year. Spending by Chinese tourists in UK stores – dubbed the ‘Peking Pound’ – rose by 64% in 2012 to a total of £165m, according to Swiss retail analysts Global Blue.