As we at Jeroboams Limited run down the days until our year end on 31st March, we are looking forward to recording a year of sales and profit improvement through all our routes to market; retail, private sales and trade sales. Having opened two new retail shops in the year I am pleased to see that they have produced the results we hoped for, although there is still good growth to be had.

It is extremely sad to see the probable demise of such great names as Oddbins and Majestic, brands that changed the face of wine retail in the UK. Something may emerge from the ashes of both of course but there is no doubt that ‘wine, beer and spirits’ presence on the High St has changed.

For many of the independent merchants in the UK, of which we are one of the larger, the future may actually now look brighter, but we mustn’t be complacent. So why have we done alright on the high street when all around seem to be falling away? The high street works when time, money and energy is spent on getting to know your community, your customer and having them trust you in return. The success and survival of the ‘independent’ is to do with what you ‘give’ rather than (just) what you ‘take’