Bargain Booze chain gulps down Wine Rack


The company behind the Bargain Booze chain has acquired Wine Rack, the string of London off-licences, at a knock-down price to boost its wine offer and presence in the South of England.

Conviviality Retail, which also owns the Thorougoods convenience stores, has seen its shares rocket since it listed at £1 on Aim at the end of July.

Its shares edged up by 5.5p to 155p yesterday after it unveiled the acquisition of Wine Rack, which has 22 shops primarily in the Greater London area, for £1.65m in cash.

Diana Hunter, the chief executive of Conviviality Retail, said: “Wine Rack fits perfectly with our stated strategy, outlined when we floated on Aim. This acquisition accelerates our expansion into the wine market, provides the company with additional expertise that will benefit our franchisees, and increases our footprint in the South of England, including adding scale in the important London market.”

Conviviality  hopes to roll out more Wine Rack stores, both in the South and other parts of the country. It said both new and existing stores will benefit from combining the Wine Rack brand with Conviviality’s “greater buying power, marketing expertise and logistics experience.” 

Wine Rack –  previously part of First Quench, the failed company behind the former Threshers brand – was bought in 2009 by its management team, who grew it from 13 shops to 22 and started selling online.