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Why Invest: New Franchisors of WineStyles Tasting Station Uncork Retail Model That Focuses on More Than Just Wine (Part 1)

by Brian Bixler on March 13, 2013

in Retail Franchise, Why Invest

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This post is the first of two parts. Please check back tomorrow for Part 2.

Life just got a little sweeter for oenophiles with a new franchisor acquiring and re-branding WineStyles wine store to emphasize not only the core product, but other gourmet favorites such as a chocolate.

WineStyles Tasting Station's New Owners Andrea and Bryan McGinness

WineStyles Tasting Station’s New Owners Andrea and Bryan McGinness

Bryan and Andrea McGinness had been WineStyles franchisees since 2006 and ran one of the most successful stores in the 45-unit chain. So when former CEO Robert Spuck decided to retire last year, he approached the McGinnesses, who had achieved annual double-digit growth at their store, about purchasing the national franchise. It has been ranked among Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list of top companies.

Since then, the couple has  been in the midst of re-branding the business, changing the name to WineStyles Tasting Station. The new name connotes a changing approach for the retailer that still highlights the vintages on its shelves, but also includes a wide selection of craft beers, artisanal cheeses, decadent chocolates, teas, and other epicurean items.

The McGinnesses have also moved corporate headquarters to West Des Moines from Florida and will manage the day-to-day operations of all existing WineStyles stores for the next two and a half years, while developing new and/or converting existing units into the WineStyles Tasting Station model. After that period of time, the McGinnesses will complete the purchase of WineStyles’ business assets including the assignment of all franchise and area developer agreements.

An Eye on Expansion

Meanwhile, they are focusing on expanding the franchise, Bryan McGinness said.

“Our core value and main focus remains the same: We still are WineStyles,” he said. “We are out to demystify the whole wine experience. But we have found that there are other profit centers that relate to wine.”

One of the biggest changes for stores converting to WineStyles Tasting Station is the creation of additional revenue streams with the offering of a wine club, beer club, chocolate club, cheese club, and tea club membership to customers.

For $34.99 a month for the wine and beer clubs, members receive two bottles of wine (selected by accredited sommeliers and experts) or a selection of beers each month, plus a 10 percent store discount on purchases and invitations to special events, such as tasting parties, where they get to taste their selections before taking them home. The cheese, chocolate, and tea clubs are $19.99 per month with similar benefits.

“We’re the only club with a clubhouse,” Bryan McGinness says. “It’s really kind of an atmosphere of fellowship and networking and friendly interaction with customers.”

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