Spirited Wines has launched a cheese deli counter at 11 of its stores and is hoping to roll the concept out across the estate once trials are complete.
Managing director Benoît Thouvenin told Harpers the trial started at its Henley store six months ago and expanded across 10 stores in London.
It’s offering a selection of 25 British and French cheeses in stores which Thouvenin believes complement Spirited’s existing business. “People use Enomatics – I wanted to focus on something else,” he said.
He is convinced the convenience aspect is important for his customers: “It’s quick shopping, they can get cheese, crackers and wine and get home.”
But he’s not planning on adding extra convenience items.
Spirited now operates 52 stores across the UK. Of its recently acquired London stores, 22 have been rebranded from Nicolas to Spirited Wines, with a further 10 destined for the changeover next year. The remaining seven will continue to trade under the Nicolas banner.
Thouvenin, who was employed by Nicolas in France before moving to the UK and working across its Oddbins estate, said negotiations with the Parisian head office over taking on the London stores were “easy”.
Spirited Wines was formed in 2010, when Thouvenin bought 18 Nicolas stores outside of the M25, 14 of which are still trading. He expanded the estate in February 2012 by buying 43 Nicolas shops in London, a number of which have since closed.