Oct 26: If it has always been predicted that Tier-2 cities will help bring wine drinking culture to next level and it is validated by the opening of MADIRA Store, a modern Retail Store being launched TODAY at the SRS (City) Mall in Gomti Nagar, with a good selection of Indian and imported wines and premium liquor including Single Malts, writes Subhash Arora with inputs from our representative Ambuj Srivastava who visited the store today.
If you look up the meaning of Madira in the Dictionary, it will tell you ‘Wines.’ Yet we known how erroneously it is used in India-even at the new modern high-end wine and liquor store in SRS (City) Mall in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow where you can pick up a decent selection of Indian wines like Sula and Fratelli and even imported monikers like Hardys, Jacobs Creek and Campo Viejo. But the signboard on top of the store highlights MADIRA- Finest Collections of malts, scotches, spirits and beers. The word wine is conspicuous by its absence.
Rajeev Samant, founder-CEO of Sula Vineyards sends his congratulations and good wishes through delWine to the co-owner Inder Mohan Singh with whom I talked today even though he was very busy with the guests who had started arriving for the launch. The 600 square feet store has a good selection of Sula and Fratelli Wines and even a very generous display of over 15 shelves of wine. Inder tells me he has a complete range of Sula including Rasa, Dindori and the varietal range. One could see stacks of Sette and MS from Fratelli as well There was a shocking absence of Grover Wines which have been constantly slipping in various markets. It was a shock to me when I was told Grover has not even registered in UP. With all the monies pumped in various expansion projects, it is surprising not to find them at all in Lucknow.
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The first modern retail store in UP, it is run by Inder Mohan Singh and his son, Ekjap Singh who were there to receive their guests. When I asked Inder how the sales were in wine, he said, ‘fantastically well’ with an excitement in his voice. Perhaps following the modern retail concept which has caught on in big cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chandigarh, they have now ventured into modern retail. He said they have been in retail business for over 4 years and have 12 retail stores already in Kanpur and Lucknow. They also have the FL-2 license (wholesale for IMFL).
This is primarily a high-ended store where there is a good demand for wines like Rasa and Sette. Customers can walk in and browse around. The prices are fixed but a special discount could be available to the bulk buyers, a majority of whom are in the liquor category. But it is a big boon to the upper middle class people, especially women who can come safely and comfortably pick up the poison and wine of their choice. The store has opened thanks to the new Excise (Settlement of Licence for Premium Retail Vends of Foreign Liquor) Rules, 2020.
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Only standalone shops were licensed to sell wine and liquor in UP earlier. With the new guidelines kicking in this year, liquor store licensees have been authorized to sell also in the modern shopping malls. This has improved the business possibilities and provides for a safe, licensed, and authorised sale of wine and alcohol to all, especially women. One can expect improved wine sales.
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Consumption of wine or liquor though is not permitted within the store or on the premises of the mall which is ultra-modern and opened only 2 years ago. You can now choose your favourite liquor from a wide range of collections that includes single malts and Scotch as well.
The store also provides several gifting options. It offers a wide choice for Diwali shoppers who are required to follow the norms of wearing a mask and hopefully maintain social distancing. And if you were wondering where to find well stored, high quality wine, you know where to go. The choice may be wider than ever and can only get better as the demand picks up and the store gets popular. Pick up a bottle of wine and gift it to your loved ones this Diwali and say, ‘Madira’! Or JAI HO!!Retai
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