Cellar Door Wines

How to create a more engaging shopping experience and stand out from the crowd.

When it comes to shopping experience, it’s important to stand out from the (highly competitive) crowd. Almost 40% of customers buy wine based on price and 22% on colour, but for many customers, it’s about the whole experience, buying products based on recommendations (6.1%) and for special occasions (6.3%). *


So, how can you give your customers a really engaging shopping experience? Lara Nardon asked Penny Edwards, owner of Cellar Door Wines in St. Albans, to explain her secrets for bringing her shopping experience to life and retaining customers over time.



Lara: When did you decide to open your own wine shop?
Penny: The shop was already established when I started, but I got on board 2 years ago, helped in refurbishing and bringing new business ideas, creating a ‘new’ shop. The space has always been big, but I have re-arranged the decor and stocked up with new and more wine. We have a much higher stock holding now, because I believe you need volume to sell volume. When you have a well-stocked shop, your customers can browse and spend time choosing their wines, which is always a nice experience.


Lara: What is your biggest challenge?
Penny: Getting the right staff! It’s very hard for me because we’re not only a wine shop, but we distribute to other businesses too, so the role is varied and is not only limited to retailing. We need somebody who is passionate about wine, not necessarily an expert. Somebody who takes ownership of the shop and wants to share his or her passion with customers, making sure the environment always looks pretty and welcoming. But somebody who is also flexible, who doesn’t mind moving boxes, glass and cardboard, understanding the bulk side of the activity too. I end up carrying out most of the tasks myself because we are quite a small team, but I like it!



Lara: How do you make sure your customers have an amazing experience?
Penny: I organise a lot of tasting events and, with the help of the Enomatics, I’m able to offer up to 16 wines to taste at any one time. I usually get somebody charismatic who talks about the machine and the range up for taste, explaining the wines and guiding the customers through the journey. I also get some food to pair with the wine, as it completes the experience and it’s something that people can experiment with at home too.

Springfield Estate Albarinho


I decide monthly or weekly themes, for example, recently I focussed on South Africa, with a tasting event with Danielle Messina, from Creation Wines. We hosted the tasting together, which was great!



The tastings help us to educate our consumers, and, as their knowledge increases, they feel more confident in trying different products and experimenting with styles. It also offers them a premium experience because they build a relationship with the producers or managers, and us. It’s a win-win situation!



Creation Tasting



Visit Cellar Door Wines to see the full list of upcoming events.


*Data from our internal insight team


Keep up with more of our vinous adventures on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook@walkerwodehouse