Growth continues apace for French retailer Cavavin with the number of franchises across the UK expected to reach 15 within two years.
Currently there are branches in Sheffield, Hertford, Glasgow, Newcastle, Brixton and Epsom, the latter two opening last August and October respectively. By spring this year, there will be two more in as yet undisclosed locations, but Chichester has been mentioned as a likely spot for one of them.
“Brixton has been doing very well,” reports UK managing director Patrick Jouan, whose own branch is in Sheffield. “Our shops have about 50% French wines, and 50% the rest of the world. Most of the products, including Champagnes, are exclusive to the buying group, and are not available anywhere else – usually reserved for the French market.
“The market is different between France and the UK,” Jouan continues. “In France, the shop locations are often next to the butcher and the bakery, on a high street with lots of passing trade, ideally near where you can park and load your car with wine. Over here … I think it’s worked very well so far.
“We let the franchisee choose and we go and visit them. Then somebody else in France does the market research on the place itself to make sure that there’s enough footfall, look at the demographic and everything else.”
Founded in 1985 with a shop in La Baule, Cavavin moved to a franchise model in 1996 and now has a network of over 150 franchisees across France and other countries including Belgium, Switzerland, Guyana and Morocco.
“I think there’s 15 planned for Ireland,” says Jouan, “and then in the UK, I would say the idea would be to have 15 maximum in the next two years.”