Great Horkesley: Wine Centre grows sales following refit

A NORTH Essex wine merchant has seen a 36% increase in business following a recent refit and expansion carried out by West Bergholt-based building contractor Ponder.

Anthony Borges of The Wine Centre, in Great Horkesley, said the decision to expand despite the tough economic climate had been encouraged by a trip overseas.

“We won a trip to New Zealand last year after being voted ‘Independent Wine Merchant of the Year’ in 2009 by New Zealand Winegrowers,” he said.

“We came back inspired with new ideas for our business to meet the recession head on. The refurbishment gave us increased space for a gift room to introduce new local suppliers and food categories, providing greater diversification and selling opportunities.”

Nigel Ponder, managing director of Ponder Construction, said the success of the refit project was a sign that investment paid off, even in difficult economic times.

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“When in the grip of recession, businesses tend to concentrate on cutbacks and reducing costs instead of focusing on the bigger picture and driving their company forward through investment,” he added.

“Considering investment in refurbishment and renovation can seem risky but we are proving that, done well, renovations can significantly increase your business potential. More and more local businesses are converting their current premises, changing their style and layout for a more modern, contemporary feel.”

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The shopfit increased The Wine Centre’s selling space by a third to provide for their new enterprise and took only three weeks to complete.

New structural steel beams were fitted to allow for a new open plan shop area, and new mechanical services were installed such as air conditioning, plumbing and electrics.

New custom built oak wine racks were also installed while the shop facade was partially replaced and modernised, making it more inviting for customers. Security has been provided by a new front wall and security gates.

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