Unwins has been asked to franchise its new wine retailing concept, Phillips Newman, on the continent.
The company has been approached by “significant” players in Germany and Sweden after the launch of the upmarket wine merchant chain last month.
Phillips Newman sells wine by taste groupings instead of origin, with the flagship store in London seeing sales increase by 45% since converting from an Unwins to the new format.
The average transaction has gone up to £15, with customers buying several bottles during each visit.
Unwins marketing director Ian McLernon told The Grocer: “There’s someone in Germany involved in the drinks business who is seriously interested in a franchise. It’s one of the options we are looking at. The interest has been massive.”
Unwins has trademarked its six wine taste descriptions, including ‘fruity’ and ‘chunky’ for reds and ‘bright’ and ‘rounded’ for whites, and has also protected the descriptions on its self-serve tasting tables at the heart of the new stores.
“We are trying to get people excited by the product, and that’s something we can beat the supermarkets on,” said McLernon.
Unwins plans to convert 60 of its stores to the new format.
McLernon continued: “We are converting two in London this summer and have identified a further 59 Unwins sites. We are looking for development capital and don’t think we’ll have any problems finding it.”