Berry Bros voted top shop by Forbes readers

  • Monday 25 November 2002

UK fine wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd has been voted best wine store by readers of Forbes magazine.

Berry Bros, whose headquarters in London's St James's Street was established in the 17th century, also has shops at Heathrow airport and at Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Eighteen months ago Berry's turned the venerable St James's building into a retail outlet, displaying a few hundred wines out of its stocks of thousands of lines.

It was voted best for wine in a survey run by the authoritative American business and lifestyle magazine, along with such august establishments as Harrods, James Purdey and Sons (guns), Anderson and Sheppard (suits) and JJ Fox and Robert Lewis (tobacco).

Sherry-Lehmann in New York City and Les Caves Auge in Paris were runners-up in the wine category.

London as a whole was voted the world's best capital city for shopping. Paris and Milan came second and third.

Berry Bros director Alun Griffiths MW told decanter.com it was a good testimonial to the strength of the new retail outlet – and the usefulness of the airport shops.

'The retail space has opened up a whole new area to people – it's much more friendly for buyers now, whereas it might have been quite daunting before.'

Americans are responsible for some 15% of turnover in London, and around 25% in the airport shops. Griffiths said they tended to be very discerning and expected the best service. With US merchants on the east and west coasts now supplying a very broad range of wines, American shoppers in London have even more specific requests.

'If we can look after the Americans, we must be doing something right,' Griffiths said.

Berry Bros St James's manager Michael Ragg added that American customers looked for the top Bordeaux more than Burgundy, were especially keen on pre-1970 vintage Port, and also took home a lot of the super Tuscans – Sassicaia, Tignanello and Solaia.'

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