Opening the world’s best wine shop at the crossroads of the world was the result of imagination and determination to offer a truly unique customer experience when buying emotive products such as fine wines and luxury spirits – all in a crafted environment and with the service and knowledge that only a highly qualified specialist team could offer. .
Since opening, the accolades and superlatives have flowed for Le Clos and even a world record – for a duty free sale of wines.
When the first Le Clos store opened in 2008, the very simple aim was to be the world’s best airport fine wines and luxury spirits operator, setting new benchmarks in excellence for the international travel retail industry and offering discerning customers an unmatchable choice of range and value.
Today, Le Clos is preparing to open its latest store at Dubai International – at Emirates’ new dedicated A380 concourse at Terminal 3. And as ever with Le Clos, the opportunity to develop the concept further and bring innovation to the customer has not been missed.
This ground breaking model in travel retailing has already won accolades from the industry but most importantly, the rewards that can only come through strong personal relationships and repeat business, with a healthy level of word of mouth recommendation, that have helped Le Clos achieve the level of credibility that it enjoys today.
It doesn’t stop there.
The newest Le Clos outlet is now planned to open at Dubai International Concourse A, in January 2013 and it will raise the bar again; no easy task when you consider Le Clos’ high standards of unique store design and presentation, a breathtaking range of products, and a team of advisers who are both passionate, qualified and committed to guiding discerning customers through some of the world’s rarest and most valuable vintages and expressions.
What does it take to be the best in the world?
According to Ben Odgers, Head of Le Clos and an experienced fine wine and retail manager, there are three vital components: “The range of stock and the in store team are at the heart of what Le Clos represents,” he says. “But there is more – the store must also give the customer a unique experience and so the new outlet at Concourse A will be dramatic and memorable in design and presentation. Beyond this, we have built a strong core of international patrons who regularly visit and purchase – and we also go to them, to help cement these relationships.”
Beyond mere service
Le Clos customers can currently choose from two outlets in Dubai International Terminal 3 – in the main departures concourse and in the luxurious surroundings of Emirates Airline’s First Class Lounge. Personal touches and embellishments count for these clients; patrons have the option of ordering ahead via phone or online and can then pick up in store or use the unique concierge service and have purchases delivered by one of the Le Clos team; and order on departure and enjoy the concierge service on return.
If name dropping helps, Hollywood stars and starlets, and Formula One drivers are all numbered among the regular patrons of Le Clos – the team is much too discreet to mention names.
But it’s the relationships with customers that makes the difference and the commitment by Le Clos to bring them the finest and the most rare and valuable; from the rarest Macallan expressions (Le Clos was the largest single bidder at the recent The Chairman’s Collection auction) to offering the Bordeaux Big Eight in a promotion, Le Clos works to rewards its clients.
This relationship building goes beyond the store and includes regular market visits – a recent visit to China comprised three exclusive wine dinners held for regular clients of Le Clos, in an increasingly important global market for fine wines and luxury spirits.
Qualified, knowledgeable and passionate
When it comes to the nuances of wines and spirits, knowledge is vital and the Le Clos team packs a punch when it comes to qualifications and, perhaps just as importantly in one of the world’s busiest international airports at the crossroads of the world, the ability to speak to clients in their own languages – in fact 21 at the last count, including Chinese and Russian,
The WSET accredited staff bring vast experience in wine and spirit retail as well as from five-star sommelier backgrounds, to Le Clos clients. Each team member has his or her specialism and the team includes members of the IWC judging panel in the UK.
This accredited sales team offers real knowledge and expert insights and, combined with the guaranteed provenance of rare and exclusive listings, is a compelling offer.
It’s the small things that make the difference.
Attention to detail and personalised service – Le Clos takes infinite care to offer value for money, even buying limited edition bottles of extra significance for clients – such as Bottle number 8 for Chinese customers (the number most associated with luck).
The wider portfolio at Le Clos reflects trends and customer taste and demands, with wines from producers across the globe, and currently runs to more than 800 wines and 200 spirits, all maintained in carefully temperature controlled conditions to ensure perfect provenance. Le Clos also has access to a vast inventory of wines in France and MMI was the world’s largest single buyer of the 2005 Bordeaux vintage; these direct relationships with Chateaux certainly help.
It’s not all about the stellar names; Le Clos’ range starts with bottles from as little as USD28 – so, ‘fine’ does not always mean expensive.
New store – new discoveries
The new Le Clos store at Dubai International will add a new dimension to the offer – from unique personalisation services to some of the world’s star vintages, wine tasting, an interactive whisky journey guide and an entrance that will ensure every visit a memorable one. 2013 promises to be a vintage year for Le Clos.
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Written by Decanter