Vineking looks to expand

17 September, 2010

The Vineking’s Erik Laan is planning to open as many as 15 new shops outside his Surrey base over the next five to seven years.

He will open the first of a new range of “posh off-licences” on Reigate’s high street in Surrey next month, but said he was also interested in looking further south to Crawley or Horsham, West Sussex, and into London.

Laan said he would be looking for smaller premises, but wouldn’t be targeting former First Quench sites.

James Halliday, manager of the new Reigate store, said it will offer a range of beers sourced from US microbreweries and “more interesting spirits” produced by small distilleries. He said wine prices will range from £5-£15.

Laan said: “People don’t necessarily want to go to a wine merchant all the time. I want to get more of a local vibe going and have some really nice, fun shops.

“In the short term I’ll look to open maybe two more shops next year and around seven to 15 within five to seven.”

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All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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