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Showroom: fully open yet?

Possibly I should phone member services… but I imagine other community readers will be asking a similar question:

To what extent is the showroom fully open now?

I appreciate that a one-way ‘Ikea shuffle’ is mandatory, however (I shall be visiting on Sat 22nd) will the bin-end & remainder shelves be back in play?

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Short answer - I don’t know.

Long answer - Unlikely while one way system remains, as the loss of shelving owing to one-way system required removal of bin-ends so the space could be used for listed wines.

Bin ends are now sold via mystery boxes, and as there’s a new selection of mystery boxes just listed, I’ll stick with unlikely.

Even longer answer - will bin ends ever return? The success of mystery boxes and the democracy of everyone being able to partake, not just visitors to the shop, and the freeing up of shelves is a strong argument for dropping bin-end sales in the shop.

Which makes me wonder how long the shop will last. They’ve beefed up deliveries with the option of customer chosen times and dates.

No bin-ends and no discount for collection removed my motives for going to the shop. No shop means no staff wages for shop staff - the thought has surely crossed the minds of the TWS finance department. Why a shop?

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I would also like to know the answer, but also: what was the point of the one way system? It forces people into parts of the shop which they would otherwise not need to be in so it increases potential contacts among customers and with staff.

One reason is that I certainly would never have joined without the shop. I want the shop tastings and the enomatics, and also the assurance that there is something substantial behind the website. Yes, I am now stuck with membership, so they won’t lose me, but for anyone considering membership: what would be the point when there are many other mail order wine suppliers which don’t charge £20 to join?

In fairness - TWS prices are lower so you will make that £20 back in no time at all. And all retail seems to be operating the one-way system. Tastings & Enomatics I imagine are a LONG way off, but all I want is the several shelves of bin-ends to trawl through.


Or… why not MORE shops ? Manchester, Brighton (Inbar) and Edinburgh for instance. OK and Birmingham & Belfast.

That would put the cat amongst the pigeons for Majestic etc. :grinning:




To be fair, I have never been to the shop and find TWS amazingly useful and well worth the 20 quid.

Before going anywhere, low cost reserve storage alone pays for itself in no time.

If you buy 6 bottles a year then obviously it becomes a discussion but if you’re buying 50+ bottles a year or have any interest in building a cellar then it’s an absolute no brainer IMO. with or without the shop


But for the vast majority of members the shop is uselessly distant and they will possibly/probably never visit the shop…ever. You yourself have complained on occasion that some things TWS does, like Instagram, favours some members but not all, that is exactly what the shop does; it favours members who live within sensible reach of it. I’m not complaining, that’s just life, but I would be glad to see bin ends move permanently online so members like myself can have access to them along with the privileged few living in close proximity to Stevenage.


I’ve never been the shop, may do at some point - I’m in London so not too far away - but the membership fee has paid for itself multiple times already through great prices alone. TWS is pretty universally recognised as one of, probably the, best value wine specialists in the UK - £20 is a very small amount to have access to that.

It’s almost as if some people just like to complain a lot.


There always used to be a reasonable selection of bin ends online, but TWS have obviosly worked out that they can shift them more easily in mystery cases.
Not sure I’ll go for one of those again, the one I bought was a bit disappointing, though some posted on here have looked great.

I may be wrong but I think the online ‘bin ends’ were more stock clearances rather than these ones which are also damaged labels etc. The one time I have visited the shop the bin ends they had were not online at all.

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Hah! I grew up there, but moved to Yorkshire 30 years ago. House prices down there are eye watering, so not that much a privilege. But yes, I get your point about the shop favouring those who live nearby (or drive down the A1 occasionally) - such is life.

The bin end shelves (certainly used to) have maybe 100+ different wines, some only one or two bottles, so I couldn’t see that justifying the hassle of putting online when the quantities are so small. Maybe it could be done via a barcode system? - just text, no manual data input or pictures?

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Indeed, I can see how difficult it would be to list so many bin odds and ends and I wouldn’t really expect them to do so, but the mystery cases seems to be an excellent, equitable and workable solution. Although it actually doesn’t suit my buying tactics quite so well though I have been tempted by the more expensive fine wine mystery cases.

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I didn’t say that no one would join; I said that I wouldn’t. For anyone in the south-east, with many other wine shops within range, with a variety of services, tastings, etc., mail order is more likely to be for special interest (e.g. Wines of Uruguay or Yapp for Loire or possibly for EP) than for a general list. They would still get some customers, but would certainly lose some.

And for those who think they missed out on the bin ends: don’t regret them too much. A couple of unarranged shelves of odd bottles plus a couple with wines which clearly hadn’t sold for good reason. The reductions were rarely more than 10%, so not worth looking unless a familiar bottle caught your eye.

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I notice that Laithwaites have some of their wines on an stand alone stand in Dobbies Garden Centre in Shrewsbury - so likely elsewhere and other outlets. But their prices are not competitive.

Problem for TWS in running a shop is the cost involved, and would it generate additional sales, or just move sales from the delivery model used.

If outsourced (like Laithwaites in Dobbies) then it has to be open to all - not just members - and there has to be sufficient profit for the sales partner, and I would think the normal retail prices of wines at TWS wouldn’t offer that.


Agree - with reasons to visit the Stevenage shop ie - the bin ends & the tasting machines, removed, the mild incentive of small reduction for collection isn’t worth it. As I only visit when en route from Stansted it looks as if my TWS carbon footprint will be a larger size in future. Shame - that was one of my occasional treats. Would be good if TWS management could post their intentions for when we’re post-lockdown please ?

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They have already used the close down as an excuse to end the reduction. It has already increased my carbon footprint as I had never before used delivery.

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I would have thought the carbon footprint for delivery was much smaller for one van, than every member driving themselves to the showroom?!


I fail to understand why a TWS delivery is less carbon efficient than collection in a private vehicle. In general I would have thought a van making numerous deliveries was much more efficient than private collections. Nevertheless I hope the shop will open fully with its enomatics and its bin ends and its delivery discounts (or at least 2 out of 3) before too long.

If it doesn’t offer any of these then it’s hard to see much of a future for it, sadly. I enjoyed stopping at the Montreuil shop once I discovered it, and have enjoyed 2 or 3 trips a year to Stevenage. I would miss them.