Thursday, June 07, 2007

Doing a "Recce"

Ive been out of the building this afternoon conducting a little reconnaisance of the wine shops in Chester. Its a little exercise that I like to do every couple of months to get an idea of what the shops are offering. I usually confine my walk to the local branch of Oddbins and what used to be Quellyn Roberts, but is now called Corks Out. Today I took a gander at the new branch of Majestic that has opened up near the Northgate Arena. Sometimes its quite a depressing exercise, because I find some of the wines that Ive hunted high and low for on the shelves of Oddbins. Usually they tend to sit at the higher end of the price bracket, which suits me fine, but on two occasions Ive seen them on sale at less that what I am paying. Then Im not a happy bunny.

Its a bit disappointing to see wines that we list and are supposed to have regional exclusivity over on the shelves of a national retailer. We have no chance of competing with them over margins and as such it often gives a good illustration of the margins we operate with. Ive made no bones about the fact that our margins on drinks are high. At the end of the day we are an expensive outlet to operate, and guess who pays for it? You do! But we dont cut corners on quality, we dont use poor products, because ultimately the customers expect the best and usually they are prepared to pay for the best.

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