Hedonism, possibly the ultimate wine shop has recently opened its doors in Mayfair London, seeking to attract the wine uber buyer. Even in times of austerity wine needs to be bought and consumed. The website promises delivery of your chosen bottles within the hour to a central London address, though many of the browsers and buyers will no doubt be visitors to London. The Hedonism staff members appear to be a truly global, multi- lingual team, which may help ease the pain of parting with so much money for the world’s most prestiguous wines. The entire wall devoted to Chateau d’Yquem through all the vintages is a thing of beauty in itself, the sweep of gold to honey coloured precious offerings arranged like colour samples in a decorator’s display case. Here’s the youtube video featuring the head buyer, Alistair Viner and a virtual tour of this extraordinary new wine shop, Hedonsim video.
Wine retailing should cater not only for the value conscious, supermarket wine customer but also for the conspicuous consumer who has the disposable income and perhaps the knowledge to enjoy environments such as Hedonism. It will be interesting to follow the fortunes of this store. Has it opened in the right place at the right time for the right target market? The fact that it is being funded by a highly sucessful Russian businessman who made his fortune from the selling of ‘blinged up’ mobile phones – handsets of gold and inset with diamonds makes the new venture even more intriguing. What do you think of Hedonism’s long term prospects?