Norfolk-born, sustainably-focused, artisan gin brand, Bullards Spirits is expanding with a permanent retail unit opening in Westfield London in White City on 10 August. Bullards Spirits plans to open other retail units in key shopping destinations in the UK in the coming year.
Starting primarily in Norwich, the 2020 festive pop-up shop is now a permanent fixture in Chantry Place Shopping Centre, and the brand has recently opened a compact Gin Shop & Tasting Room concession in Jarrold Department Store.
Driven by founder Russell Evans, 2021 has seen the team working to adapt and evolve their business model to deliver the Bullards Spirits experience to shoppers across the UK. This shift to retail through a new and evolving omnichannel strategy aims to create sales by transforming the purchasing process through new sensory touchpoints.
Working with award-winning retail design studio Play Retail Ltd, the new London Gin Shop & Tasting Room will go beyond being purely “functional and transactional”, seeking to build a sustained relationship with future customers by communicating the Bullards Spirits ethos in a new exciting and experiential way.
As customers enter the store, they will be greeted by a knowledgeable, welcoming, and passionate Bullards Spirits representative, guiding the customers on a curated discovery through the Gin Shop & Tasting Room, where they will be transported to the local source of the ingredients by smelling the botanicals, and able to taste the small-batch thoughtfully-produced gin and directly see the eco-process.
Evans commented, “We are embarking on this new project to better connect with our customers. At the tail end of last year, we saw first hand - through our customer feedback and the success of the Christmas pop-up at Chantry Place shopping centre - how physically bringing the Bullards Spirits experience to our customers really works.
'Shopping habits are changing, consumers are wanting to have a share in the whole brand experience, rather than just having their eyes on the end product. This is why there is something unique about having a physical store, it can be leveraged to do something that just can’t happen in the digital world.
'The multi-sensory experience is everything, and this is an opportunity to think about online and offline as complementary channels. We believe that the time has come for brick and mortar stores to make a comeback, and we want to lead the change in the drinks sector with this revolutionised new model of shopping.”
Kate Orwin, Leasing Director UK, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said, “At Westfield, we know our shoppers are keen for new experiences. Our How We Shop: What’s Changed report in fact identified an ‘experience tipping point’, where by 2025, experience offerings would overtake products in terms of floor space at shopping destinations.
'We’re delighted to be working with Bullards Spirits - the Gin Shop & Tasting Room is a truly unique, sensory, and immersive experience for customers. It’s been a pleasure to work with a brand that is innovating the traditional retail store and introducing new concepts to shoppers.”
Bullards Spirits have four key flavours in the gin collection: Coastal Gin, Old Tom Gin, London Dry Gin, and Strawberry and Black Pepper Gin. Bullards Spirits encourages the purchase of a Bottle For Life as part of the brand’s eco-agenda and commitment to reducing carbon footprint.
The Bottle For Life is elegantly hand-crafted and inspired by the original Bullard’s Brewery chimney that towered over Norwich for 100 years.
Subsequent purchases of the gin can then be bought in a recyclable Eco-Refill Pouch, with Bullards Spirits recycling with TerraCycle via a Zero Waste Box™ solution, so empty pouches can be returned by Freepost back to the distillery with ease.