Thursday, 19 August 2010

Stick to the knitting

Not entirely surprising news that Adnams’ Cellar & Kitchen chain is finding trading tough going. This is a bizarre project involving setting up shops combining high-end wine and kitchenware. History is littered with examples of companies diversifying into areas that are outside their core business and area of expertise, and ending up falling flat on their face. And the idea of juxtaposing wine and kitchenware sounds like something dreamed up by marketing consultants after a very long lunch. What next – Westons setting up a chain called “Spade & Press” combining cider with garden tools? When I first heard of the concept I thought “that sounds like a recipe for failure.”

Also disappointing to see them whingeing about progressive beer duty. If they’re worried about tiny micro breweries eating into their trade they must be doing something fundamentally wrong. By definition, unless your production volumes remain very low, you don’t benefit much if at all from PBD.


  1. I don't think it's so much the combination of kitchenware and wine/beer, moreso that the market has slowed and their wine buyers are used to shopping via the catalogue.

    The stores are great, with knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff, but they've got to shift a lot of bottles and bottle-opeeners to pay their way.

  2. There's one in Stamford, I have a look in whenever I'm over that way. I like it, the cookware includes some lovely stuff, and there's usually a few decent Sherrys and Ports, and a few bottles open for free tasters. Nothing wrong with the concept IMO.

  3. Well, surely a key thing wrong with the concept is that it doesn't seem to be pulling the punters in. And it still looks like a forced juxtaposition to me. My money's on Adnams cutting their losses and closing it within five years.


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