Chapel Down Winery, England’s leading winemaker and one of the UK’s most exciting drinks companies has been producing wine from their Kent vineyard since the 1990’s. Always innovating, always surprising, Chapel Down’s new product offerings over the years has secured its household name status in a relatively short space of time.
With a wine estate offering guests seasonal guided tours, a restaurant, a shop selling English food and drink and a welcome centre, today, Chapel Down produces more than just wine, but also award winning sparkling wine, gin, cider and beer too.
It’s also home to the Swan restaurant, a multi-award winning restaurant specialising in modern British cuisine and locally sourced seasonal produce as well as the Chapel Down Gin works Bar and restaurant in St. Pancras Station. A stalwart that’s captured the imagination of this newly developed area of London.
WBC has been working with Chapel Down for over 10 years now. After their recent refurbishment in why they chose the BRIX retail modular display as the backdrop for their flagship store.
Chapel down call the county of Kent their home. Based in Small Hythe near Tenterden, the vineyard itself was first planted in the 2970’s and now roams across a massive 25 acres set amongst some beautiful Kentish countryside. They have been known as Chapel Down since the mid-90s.
The epicentre of the vineyard is its shop, which has been opened its doors to visitors since the early 90’s. It was initially refurbed in 2001 and then again in 2018. Their most recent refurbishment was done in January 2018 primarily with a view to increasing the growth of tourism and operations which had changed and modernised such that they needed a more bespoke design.
“When redesigning the shop, what atmosphere were you trying to create and do you feel you’ve achieved it?”
Atmosphere wise, we wanted Chapeldown to be destination. We wanted people to want to spend time with us and enjoy our products. We were mindful of people who had to wait for tours, so we needed to create an attractive waiting area. People coming to the end of their tours who wanted to continue their enjoyment had a space to congregate.
We created a tasting bar, and lastly, we want to actively welcome and encourage locals and regular Chapel Down shoppers.
We’ve since added a Deli along with additional products that we feel compliment our brand. The feedback we have had has been amazing; so yes we definitely have achieved it.
In their newest incarnation, Chapel Down Winery chose WBC’s BRIX range of retail modular display throughout the shop instead of a more static merchandising solutions in a bid to create a space that could be adaptable and interchangeable depending on many factors
Retail Director, Lizzie said “BRIX is modern, modular and industrial but it’s also good quality furniture which sits effortless with our brand. The fact you could get a bespoke look from an off-the-shelf range is remarkable in itself. BRIX offers a classy, precision crafted artisan look that allows us to have the flexibility to change and evolve as we need to. We’ve also bought additional elements to provide us with the flexibility to do pop up events. Ultimately, BRIX is a lot cheaper than getting a shop fitter to make bespoke units.
In order to increase the effectiveness of customer navigation throughout the shop, Chapel down featured a variety of wbc signage and pos systems.
“The signage we chose has reduced a lot of confusion for customers.
We invested in some space planning support to ensure that there was a pre-planned customer journey. The point of sale we used was really just to announce or amplify key messaging. We used WBC printing services too, which ensured all the signage is ‘on brand’.
We are really pleased with the results.” says Lizzie.
Now The Refurbishment Is Complete, How Do You Feel It Went?
I think the refurb went really well. We were lucky to work with a great designer and contractors, so the refurb itself was smooth. It was longer than expected but we got exactly what we wanted.
What Effect Has The Refurbishment Had On Sales Within Your Different Product Categories, Wine & Spirits, Food, Gifts And Tours/Experience?
It has increased revenue on all product ranges which has been a pleasant surprise.
What Sort Of Feedback Have You Had From Customers Since The Relaunch?
We have had really positive feedback from all of our customers and shareholders, they love the new space!
With Such A Great Array Of Products On Offer, How Important Is Gifting To Chapel Down And Does Your Gift Offering Change Throughout The Year?
Our gift operation is important to us, mostly between October and December throughout the Christmas push.
We offer gifting options throughout the year for anyone that’s looking for something a bit special to take away.
As part of the refurb we used WBC’s personalisation service to create our own branded packaging; this included Gift Boxes, Bags & Cartons and take away shopping Bags. WBC even printed personalised tissue paper that really helps to make bottles of wine more of a gift.
What Are Your Key Trading Periods Of The Year, And How Do You Attract Customers To The Shop During The Low Season?
Our key trading periods are from March to December. In January and February, we offer special tours to attract footfall and increase the number of visitors. Obviously during the pandemic, this all went out the window but we can’t wait to invite guests back again soon and have some fantastic ideas for them when we finally can.
Does The Store Layout Change Seasonally?
Our Designer Eve Reid of the Metamorphosis Group designed our store to have a high season and a low season layout. This is what is so useful with using BRIX as we can expand and retract the shop floor fixtures as required.
What’s Next For Chapel Down? Are There Any Exciting Plans For The Future (That You Can Tell Us About?)
Lots in the pipeline. The Curious Brewery in 2019 in Ashford has been a great success. Our other big headline is the Kings Cross ‘Gin Works’ experiential bar, restaurant and ginnery which before the pandemic went from strength to strength. We can’t wait to open it again!