Berry Bros & Rudd is to close its Dublin wine shop this summer after ten years of operation, blaming high costs and an inadequate return on investment.
Twelve staff will be made redundant when the shop on Harry Street shuts down at the end of July, but the company hopes to continue to serve Irish customers by shipping from the UK.
‘We found that the cost of operating on a retail basis in Dublin was too high for the return that we could get from it,’ Berry Bros managing director Hugh Sturges told decanter.com.
He did not blame the economic downturn for the closure, but said the shop’s lease was up for review. ‘It happens to coincide with the credit crunch, but it’s more to do with the lease,’ he said.
‘It’s a sad decision, but ultimately it’s the right decision. We’ve really enjoyed being there, but it’s time to leave.’
He stressed that the company was not pulling out of Ireland altogether. ‘We’re hoping to continue servicing private customers through direct sales from the UK, but at the moment we’re just establishing how that can happen.’
The company took over the 19th century former Weights and Measures Office in 1999, investing heavily to restore the building. The operation had three strands, the retail shop, a wholesale business catering to restaurants, and a hospitality arm.
The shop houses more than 800 wines, and the premises also include a cellar and a first-floor dining room and tasting area.
Written by Richard Woodard