Independent wine merchants booming
Independent wine merchants have sales of just under £250 million - accounting for around 5 per cent of the British off-trade wine market, according to a major OLN survey.
The report, commissioned in partnership with Wines of Chile, identified 512 independent retailers with a specialism in wine.
The sector has been watched with some enthusiasm by suppliers, especially as it seems to have defied predictions of the demise of the independent sector with hundreds of new stores opening in the past few years.
Wines of Chile UK director Michael Cox has called independents the "lifeblood of the wine trade".
OLN is embarking on a year-long study of the sector, analysing sales trends and generating feedback from those who operate in this important niche market.
Stores in the survey are positive about the future with 16.5 per cent predicting that their sales performance will be "much higher" in the coming year, 49.9 per cent predicting they will be "a little higher" and 28.1 per cent of them saying they think they will stay the same.
The full report appears on pages 18 and 19 and forms part of OLN's 2007 Market Report, which analyses the recent performances of all major drinks retailers. Coverage starts on page 17.