* Prices may differ from that shown
As I write this review, First Quench Retailing (the company which operates Wine Rack) is firmly in administration. The stores are still trading, however, and apparently a new buyer is being sought who will continue to trade a large portion of the shops, hopefully saving some jobs in the process.
My local store was packed last night. I suppose the fact it was Halloween and a Saturday contributed to this, but there were also a lot of lapsed customers in, being nosy because of the company being in the news. Sadly, I doubt they are going to be returning longer-term.
The shop itself looked as though it hadn't been cared for in some time. All the fitments were spanking new, but unfortunately hadn't been cleaned. I decided against a Snickers as it was the last one on the rack, and when I picked it up there was a dead fly underneath! Personally I prefer to buy things I am intending to put in my mouth from a clean location, so this was quite a turn-off.
I have to say, I can kind of understand why their sales have plummeted. Last time I bought a bottle of Veuve Clicquot it cost £30 from my local independent convenience store. Wine Rack are selling it for £44.99. You do get a third free when you pay for two, which brings it down to a similar price to everyone else, but why would I wax £90 on an impulse buy? I can't believe my local independent grocer has more buying power than Wine Rack! This therefore does make you feel a little like you're getting ripped off.
From what I can see, Wine Rack as a brand has nowhere to go - my local store had loads of money spent on it last year, but I now wonder if that money would have been better spent on staff training (there's never a manager about in the evenings when I shop) or on better pricing. I am normally happy to pay over the odds if I get great service, but compared to somewhere like Majestic, where all the staff seem to be quite passionate about wine, Wine Rack doesn't measure up.
Wine Rack is part of the company that used to have Threshers - the staple of my student days with scruffy but welcoming stores and staff, and loads of good deals on beer and wine. I think its a shame that in trying to make their brand more "posh" their products have become more expensive - at the end of the day a bottle of Veuve is a bottle of Veuve no matter where its purchased, and a 50% mark-up is unacceptable in an off-licence, no matter how fancy it is.
I will still pop into Wine Rack for convenience's sake every now and then, but it doesn't look like they'll be around that much longer!
I am not someone who is a fan of wine but recently my wife and I were heading through to visit my mum who was doing a BBQ so we had decided to pick her up a little bottle of something to go with her meal for her and so when we were dropped off in the town by a taxi we jumped across the road to the nearest wine shop around which happened to be Wine Rack and I have to say I was impressed.
Wine Rack as the name suggests is specialist in the stocking and selling of wines with an amazing selection on offer from the cheap to the extravagent, from the red to the white, from the South American to the Australian and I was quite blown away by the choices available. The layout was simple to follow with the wines first broken down by their colour or type then by the country or region they were from. The prices were somewhat higher than some would be willing to pay but if you are looking for a treat every so often they are worth a look in and with the various offers like 3 for £10 you could pick up some great value.
The stores do not only offer wine but in fact also offer soft drinks, beers, lagers, vodkas, rums, sweets, crisps, tobacco and more which helps them to feel like the perfect place to get all you need for a night out with friends or to attend a party.
The store itself that I went in was in a small town but was very modern, clean and fresh feeling with one member of staff there who was extremely helpful and friendly.
- Excellent stores with a modern and fresh feel
- Helpful, knowledgable and friendly staff
- Good range of products from around the world
- Range of prices on offer to cover most peoples wants or needs
- Special offers like 3 bottles for £10
- Excellent layout making shopping experience relaxed and easy
Wine Rack gives you the choices you want and allows you a great environment in which to make your purchases.
Wine is great. The three for two offer is great and they stock some really nice wines. I'm relatively new to wine but am starting to get a grip on what's good and what should be left behind. I think Wine is probably of the few industries left where price really does guarantee a better product. That is as long as you don't buy it from a supermarket where the prices are just made up to make their 3 for £10 deals look appealing.Wine Rack = Double Thumbs Up.
Wine rack is a nice wine shop selling a selection of wines, beers, ciders and spirits, some of the wine/beer is refrigerated so you can take it home and drink it that night if you have guests over and don't have anything in then this is really handy, it is the same price to buy it chilled as buying it at room temperature also. They also sell snack foods such as crisps, chocolate and sweets, and have a refrigerated selection of soft drinks such as water, lemonade, coke, fanta, ribena etc so if you are passing and wanted to just buy a soft drink you can get that from here too. They always have a selection of offers on which is good so you could buy some wines at a discounted price while they are on offer. They sell some nice Chablis which I adore and their prices are slightly cheap- about average also so worth checking out. The staff have a uniform to wear which gives a professional feel to the place. There is parking nearby if you just want to swing by and collect something to go with dinner.
It can be a tad hit and miss as to whether the shop assistant knows anything about wine, I guess this depends on how long they have worked there though.