Online retailer Wine Fiend has opened a bricks-and-mortar shop in Cardiff.
Owner Dean Euden says: “Naively, when I first started Wine Fiend a year ago, I envisaged that it could run as just an online business. But after three or four months I realised it was untenable and I needed a base where I could interact with customers and grow some trust.”
Having scoped out a few different premises, Euden grabbed the opportunity of a unit at Corp Market. Based inside an old landmark pub, The Corporation, the market is a shopping hub providing a permanent home to several independent retailers.
There’s also a shared events space freely available to the traders where Euden has already held some tastings.
“I’ve got some beautiful wines and some of them are difficult sells online,” he says. “You can write a description, include pretty pictures of the bottles but nothing sells easy when it’s just words.”
Since opening, he’s already seen a marked change in how swiftly he can keep those particular lines moving.
“Having a shop is vital to gaining the trust of customers and to share any knowledge and passion you have,” he adds.
Euden’s career has encompassed Majestic, Avery’s, Fine Wines Direct and the WSET. He is not fazed by his return to retail: if anything, he appears energised by the recent gear change and eager to further grow the business.
He’s working solely with suppliers for now but hopes to direct import in the future and has plans to start a refill range later this year.
“I can now get some of my best-selling wines in KeyKeg and the quality of those wines is very good indeed,” he says. “They are from natural or low-intervention winemakers, and I know that those wines work because I already sell them in the bottle.”