Shop? Wine bar? Café? Maybe all three


The proportion of specialist independent wine merchants selling wine for consumption on the premises has jumped by 24% over the past year.

This year’s Wine Merchant reader survey found that 28.4% of retailers now offer wine for on-premise consumption, compared to 22.9% in the 2015 poll.

The survey found that 4.5% of respondents have started selling wine in this way in the past 12 months.

The trend towards a hybrid wine shop/wine bar model has been taking hold among independents in recent years, but the survey results make it clear that the concept does not work for everybody, often due to space constraints or a lack of enthusiasm for the extra work involved.

Indeed more than half of respondents insist that they have no plans for on-premise sales – though this figure has dropped markedly since last year’s survey.

Food is also playing an increasingly important role in independents’ businesses, with four in 10 now selling food of some description, up by 13% on last year’s figure.

The number of respondents saying they have no plans to offer food of any kind has fallen sharply to just under 45%.


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