Lea & Sandeman to open first new store in a decade
Lea & Sandeman is opening its first new store in 10 years, bringing its total number of retail outlets to five.
Operations & buying manager David Porter told DRN: “The last store we opened was our Chiswick branch so we are really excited about this. All of our shops have been growing steadily year on year. We are really confident it will be a success.”
The delay in expanding the business was purely down to finding the right site, Porter said.
The new store – which used to be a high-end bike shop – will be near Parson’s Green tube station in west London. It is a mostly residential area with some independent shops. It is next to an independent bakery and near a premium butcher’s, which Lea & Sandeman has already worked with for events in the past. A Spirited Wines store used to sit 100m down the road but it closed some time ago “so we are kind of filling a void”.
The store is due to open in September, having been delayed for six months by planning permission related to air conditioning.
Porter said: “It will have a slightly different feel to our other stores because of the physical bricks and mortar. There is exposed brick inside and more shelving. It will have a kind of New York loft feel and a more relaxed look.
“All our branches have a slightly different feel depending on the area and actual buildings, but this one will have the same range of wines and two out of the three staff will come across from other stores.”
Like the company’s other stores, the new outlet will focus on retail and it will have a dedicated table for tasting events. It will also house an office, which will look after the company’s private clients and activity such as en primeur Bordeaux, with a staff of seven people.
Porter added: “You hear a lot of doom and gloom about the high street but our offering is obviously hitting the right mark. We do supply the on-trade and trading there is becoming a bit more difficult, but the retail side is strong. Perhaps there is a move towards drinking well at home instead of in restaurants. I think footfall in our stores is up.
“We are fully independent and we have a unique high-end range. There is a limit to how many stores we can have because of the size of the winemakers we work with. We we would like to add maybe one or two more shops.
“We are not rushing into this though and it would need to be in the right location.”