Red Zebra optimistic on move, despite closures

03 October, 2008

Derby wine merchant Red Zebra is hop ing to mov e into a new shop in the coming weeks after closing two branches in the city this year.

The unit in the new Westfield Shopping Centre has now been shut, months after the original store in the Guildhall also closed.

Managing director David Simmonds said the new shop, near the cathedral, would be

in a better location and also provide tasting facilities.

"We're relocating

to a really nice area of the city which is

a boutiquey little enclave of high-end retailers, next to a prestigious art gallery," he said.

"We're nearly there and hopeful that we will complete this week

to be ready for Christmas. It's taken us nearly three months just to take on an existing lease."

Red Zebra spent nine months at Westfield. "The first quarter was absolutely blistering, but after that it just died," Simmonds said.

Red Zebra is currently concentrating on wholesaling wine to a hotel group, but is confident of a successful return to retailing. "We've got cellar space downstairs for storage and

for tasting in a cellar vaults type setting . There are also rooms on the first and second floors which we can use for tastings."

Red Zebra is also planning to start importing wine directly from Italy, France and California.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

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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