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Corks Out innovates with launch of Taste wine bar

Published:  19 August, 2013

Cheshire-based independent retailer Corks Out has launched a new-concept wine bar, Taste at Corks Out, in a bid to innovate on the back of crippling rent and rates on high street stores.

Owner Ruth Yates said it needed to reinvent its Alderley Edge retail premises and expand even further into the on-trade in order to bring in more retail business because of the high overheads. 

The two-phase £65,000 new concept store includes a larger split between retail and on-trade sales by encompassing low-level seating and low-lighting, giving it more of a wine bar feel.

The store is still focusing on Enomatic and other tastings, and has incorporated a bar and cocktail area, which includes a pod bar. Its offering includes 10 Champagnes by the glass, including Krug, Dom Pérignon and Bollinger, and 16 wines by the glass in the Enomatic machine from £15-£200, plus small platters of cheese and charcuterie, coffee and specialist teas. 

Yates said: "Rents and rates are so high in the area and a lot of independent businesses have closed down as a result, we had to do something to address that. Since the official opening on August 15, the response has been great and we are already seeing a rise in retail on the back of it due to people feeling more comfortable about drinking in; now it has more of a relaxed feel.

"It also gives customers a good opportunity to taste our wines before buying them, either through the Enomatic system or through buying a bottle from the shelves and paying corkage."

Yates said she will carefully monitor how the sales split develops and is currently looking at other properties in the Cheshire area in order to develop the concept.

She added: "I think it's a really unique idea for the UK. Due to the high rent and rates it means retail has to react to the community surrounding it. People always thought because we had a shop in Alderley Edge, it would naturally make more money. However, with increasing overheads that was not the case."

Corks Out has four other stores in Wirral, Stockton Heath, Chester and Timperley.