Wine retailer The Sampler secures investment for expansion

16 July, 2009

Independent wine retailer The Sampler has raised £1 million to open more branches following the success of its first shop in Islington.

Independent wine retailer The Sampler has raised almost £1 million of funding to open more branches across London following the success of its first shop in Islington.

New branches at sites in South Kensington and Notting Hill will open later this year.

Director Jamie Hutchinson told OLN: “We've always had expansion in mind and have continued to grow very strongly despite the downturn.”

Co-founder Dawn Mannis said:“ We’re very excited about the future. With the investment we can open up more shops, and bring what we have done in Islington to a much wider audience. It’s our crusade to make wine non-elitist, introduce customers to wines they wouldn’t usually buy, and bring excitement and profit back to high street wine retailing.”

The Sampler was launched in 2006 by Mannis and Hutchinson and won Independent Retailer of the Year at the 2009 Drinks Retailing Awards. It offers customers the chance to try wines before they buy using 10 Enomatic sampling machines.

Hutchinson said: “It de-risks the purchase, you can try a wine for a relatively small amount of money. It's a different way of selling wine and they're sourced differently too.”

The new investors are specialists from the retailing, finance, and wine markets.




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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