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Published:  23 July, 2008

By David Williams

The merchandise-by-taste approach to wine retailing pioneered by Unwins in its Philips Newman stores has found a new adherent in the family of the founders of one of Unwins' high street rivals - Oddbins. Simon Baile, son of Oddbins co-founder Nick Baile, is set to adapt the format to the three stores he owns in Paris, Ashtead in Surrey and, as of 25 September, Fulham. The stores, which will be branded Ex Cellar, will feature 12 categories (six reds and six whites) ranging from light, vibrant and juicy' to dry, ripe and luscious'. Explaining the move, Baile said: 75% of the wine we sell is sold to people who know what they want in terms of style, but not necessarily in terms of place. They don't tend to come asking for a Beaujolais anymore.' While admitting that the Philips Newman stores had stolen our thunder a little bit', Baile denied that Ex Cellar was a copycat organisation, claiming that the idea to merchandise by taste had been in place for more than a year, but we were gazumped on a couple of properties'. He added that his stores would differ by offering greater flexibility in the categories. He said: The idea is to have discussions about the wine. One man's dry is another's sweet; one man's heavy is another's light.' The stores will also have fine wine sections, and ranges of spirits, beers, ciders and water will all be stocked in a more traditional style. Baile is currently seeking staff for the Fulham store.