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New Wine Rack opens four stores

UK drinks retailer Wine Rack has risen from the ashes of the collapsed Thresher empire to expand the business with four new stores opening in the past few weeks.

The Wine Rack brand and 13 stores in the London area were bought by a subsidiary of Venus Wine & Spirit Merchants last December following the collapse of the Thresher retail empire.

Now the number of stores has expanded to 18, with new stores recently opened in Wadhurst, East Sussex, Wimbledon Park, Weybridge and Guildford.

And three more Wine Rack outlets are due to open in the next four weeks in Muswell Hill, Gerrards Cross and Henleaze, Bristol.

‘We plan to continue the expansion of our Wine Rack business and open at least three more stores before Christmas,’ said Laki Christoforou, company chairman.

‘Our strategy, which is to offer a range of interesting wines from smaller producers and less branded wines, is working well, and average spend per customer is above target.’

All of the company’s stores offer free wine tastings every weekend, some with free local delivery, and stock a range of more than 500 wines, including a large number of fine wines, plus over 200 spirits and 150-plus beers, ales and ciders.

Venus, which recorded annual turnover of £52m in 2009, supplies drinks to the UK on-trade and also owns Gerry’s wine and spirit shop in Old Compton Street, Soho.

Written by Richard Woodard

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