James Nicholson purchases Highbury Vintners

Irish wine merchant James Nicholson has purchased London independent retailer Highbury Vintners for an undisclosed sum.

Nicholson set up JN Wine in County Down in 1977 and it has built up a strong reputation as a family-run merchant offering artisan wines over the past 42 years.

It also wholesales to leading restaurants and hotels and offers home delivery across the UK and Ireland, and it decided to expand its footprint by purchasing Highbury Vintners.

Nicholson said: “This is a strategic acquisition for JN Wine and one that has seen us work very closely over the last number of months with Sean and Gillian Sweeney behind the successful Highbury Vintners. 

“There is a very strong team in place, and I personally look forward to welcoming each and every one of them to the JN Wine family.

“Alongside introducing new and interesting wines from the JN Wine portfolio, we have ambitious plans for growth that includes a refurbishment of the 1,500sqft retail outlet and increased investment in its digital presence in 2020. The Highbury Vintners name and brand will be reinforced, ensuring its legacy continues.

“Perhaps most importantly, we will remain true to the offering and values that have made the business one of the most popular independent vintners in London with an excellent reputation for quality.”   

Highbury Vintners has served wine lovers in Islington for almost four decades and it won Independent Wine Retailer of the Year at our Drinks Retailing Awards in 2017.

Director Sean Sweeney (pictured above), who has run the business since taking over from his father in 2003, said: “Very much like Highbury Vintners, JN Wine has a family and artisan wine-centred approach and a strong reputation for expert advice, which makes it an excellent fit.

“They will benefit from our expert team, who have been a strong part of our success.  Our loyal and valued customers, both retail and online, can also be confident that the additional quality offering from JN Wine, alongside excellent service, will keep the values upon which my father founded the business in 1981 alive. We wish them the very best for the future.

“Gillian and I would also like to thank all the staff and suppliers who have been invaluable to the success of the business. We would like to offer a special thanks to all our customers who have made Highbury Vintners what it is today.”

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