You own a pub or shop. Fancy diversifying?
Like the idea of high quality wines but that are affordable for your customers?
Like to improve staff wine knowledge?
Perhaps you'd like to upgrade your by-the-glass offer too.
Want ongoing support with pricing, merchandising and product knowledge?
Not sure where to start?
Become a Wine-Boutique.
A Wine-Boutique Partnership is actually with Winefantastic Ltd, an independent importer in Colchester since 2000 and the Company that owns the Wine-Boutique Brand.
What is a Wine-Boutique Partner?
There are two kinds. The first is an independent shop offering the Wine-Boutique product range and pricing for take-home.
Secondly a pub or restaurant with drinking-in, who can offer the glass list too.
Either way they make the agreement with Winefantastic Ltd.
Why would somebody want to become a Partner?
To offer a current and dynamic range of small-grower, interesting, imported wines at competitive retail prices while returning a market margin.
Automatic price updates as costs/duties/etc. change.
Shelf-talkers that deliver lots of product information for your customers. And staff.
Regular product updates, news and optional promotions.
Partners deploying the Glass List benefit from a built-in up-trade incentive for their customers.
What might be the disadvantages for the Partner?
Tied solely to Wine-Boutique products as their imported wine offer (English wines are not included). It is important for Wine-Boutique’s customers to know they are only getting genuine product so no Supermarket brands can be offered alongside ours.
Pricing and therefore margin is pitched by Wine-Boutique and although the Partner can discount as they see fit, they agree to never charge more.
What Partner investment is required?
Shelving. Partner agrees to fit some suitable shelving in a suitable place within their business. Might even already exist.
By-the-glass Partner agrees to use glassware of a high standard (Wine-Boutique can supply competitively).
If offering the by-the-glass list, the Partner must install and maintain working preservation equipment e.g. Bermar Verre de Vin - second-hand ones are sometimes findable and can be serviceable.
Stock. Partner must pay up-front for the stock. One-week Direct Debit payment may be possible after a short initial period.
To what does the Partner agree?
To follow the Wine-Boutique pricing model albeit with freedom to discount from it.
To maintain the quality and freshness of stock both take-home and drink-in (if offered).
To maintain and promote Wine-Boutique’s reputation for quality, honesty and value.
Drink-in Partners agree to offer our regularly updated Glass List of around 22 wines chosen for quality and interest ahead of recognisability. We rarely if ever promote things like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, etc. on the Glass List but Partners can offer always offer additional wines from our range by the glass should they wish.
Is is quittable?
Yes, by either party any time.
Wine-Boutique might conceivably quit a relationship if the agreement is broken.
What’s in it for Wine-Boutique?
More business and distribution.
I don’t have much space; can I still become a Partner?
As a non drink-in Partner, you could stock as few or as many wines as you like although we would prefer a minimum of twenty lines.
As a Drink-in Partner, you will need to offer the glass range plus another ten or so commercial take-home references. So perhaps 35 lines in total.
Do I need a take away licence?
Yes. It may already be included in your current one but you must be sure.
Why no Partner credit facility?
To facilitate competitive pricing on the shelf, the upstream margins are very tight and financing stock is a big cost to us.
I am nervous of offering so many by-the-glass wines especially unusual ones. Isn’t it a risk for me?
Yes, but through sampling with customers and engaging your staff, we have strong evidence of the format working well. If you are still unsure of your ability to manage stock and wastage, a Wine-Boutique Partnership might not be for you.
On the by-the-glass list there aren’t many heard-of wines like Sauvignon or Merlot. Why is that and won’t that harm sales?
Our view is that those references are easy to sell but are now ubiquitous and every pub offers them. Wine-Boutique is about more interesting products. As a Partner you are free to offer whatever you like in addition to the by-the-glass list we produce but even if you didn’t, we wouldn’t recommend NOT having Sauvignon or Merlot available by the bottle.
If I became a Partner, could you sign up another one just up the road?
We would not do this without talking to you first. If you are trading well with us, we wouldn’t do it at all. Exact exclusion zones are not defined but we’re not daft.
You have a webshop; what is to stop my customers ordering directly from you?
Nothing. Our non-promotional web prices are the same as those in your shop so ordinarily there would be no advantage plus there is evidence that the two sales channels are used by different people.
What promotional activity do you as the brand-owner deploy?
Local activity is down to you, the Partner. Social media can work as well as themed evenings or sampling events. Periodically we may inform you of a special purchase, binend, promotion in which you can participate but it will always be optional.
Would you train our team?
Would you ever come and present a wine event at our premises?
This is not something we currently offer but it may be possible in the future. There would be a charge for this. We can however provide advice and guidance for presenting your own events.
You mentioned a built-in up-trade incentive. What is that?
Take-home pricing returns an across-the-board percentage margin but the Glass List price calculations are transparently based on that take-home shelf price plus a fixed across-the-board Sterling charge (which is shown on the Glass List) meaning that as customers move up the price range, drinking-in becomes progressively better value for them compared to normal hospitality percentage calculated margins. The Partner’s Sterling profit increases even while the percentage drops a little as the wine gets dearer.
Where do I sign?
Send us an email at email@example.com and we'll get the ball rolling.