The Gloucester wine HQ that's supplied enough bottles to wrap around the earth five times over

There's no putting a cork in it for Laithwaites in Gloucester. Since opening in 2006, it's become THE place to taste and shop with more than 21 million litres of wine sent out to customers across the UK — that's enough to fill eight Olympic swimming pools! SoGlos takes a sip on the secret to sweet wine success....

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Laithwaites in Gloucester is proud of its award-winning customer service.

Tucked away in Gloucester Business Park is a global wine firm that's absolutely flying.

Ever since Laithwaites opened its city warehouse in 2006, it hasn't stopped.

In 2023 alone, the 300-strong team packed a case of wine every 3.5 seconds.

To put it in context, it's supplied 21,342,750 litres of wine since 2006, which is roughly enough to fill about eight Olympic swimming pools with wine.

The bottles despatched in that time would be five times the circumference of the earth end-to-end.

SoGlos caught up with its customer experience manager, Helen Pugh, to find out more about what it's like to run such a massive, fast-paced enterprise across its operations, call centre and shop floor. 

How would you describe your culture?

We’re a family run business, from top to bottom. Laid back but professional, with everyone working to achieve the same goals.  An environment that caters for everyone.

How would you sum up what you do from Gloucester? What can customers enjoy?

We have an amazing warehouse, knowledgeable wine guides, a welcoming shop and a dedicated customer service team.

We have a wealth of knowledge across all these channels. All teams make sure the customer is put first, and all of our staff have the power to do what’s best for the customer and are always encouraged to go the extra mile.

How are you different to other call centres?

We’re not the standard call centre. How many call centres get to deal with an amazing product like wine! And taste it regularly.

Also, you won’t find a script anywhere! We have a diverse range of people speaking to our customers, and we encourage them the use their personalities to talk to customers and build rapport. A refreshing change!

What are some customers surprised by when they visit?

How big the warehouse is! We’ve got a mountain of wine right next door. We’ve also got an onsite shop, which is so welcoming and an amazing tasting room for our external visitors to learn about wine.

What tasting experiences do you offer customers?

We run events across the country, from our huge festival in London, to small intimate tastings run from our shops. Our Gloucester shop also holds a variety of tastings and events.

What are you most proud about Laithwaites Gloucester?

Our reputation for amazing customer service, and the contribution that has to the success of the business. We’ve collected some amazing awards over recent years that really echo and showcase who we are.

We also need to be proud of our culture here in Gloucester — it is something everyone contributes to in some way. From fun incentives and games, to our focus on sustainability, and our regular wine tastings and wine education courses.

We have a really fast paced, fun, and exciting environment and also work hard to maintain an inclusive and engaging culture for all.

Any exciting new developments in the pipeline for 2024?

AI — but getting it right for our customers! Using new technology to help our customers, even when the call centre might be fast asleep.

Customer experience online will also change a lot in 2024. We are currently going through a complete systems overhaul, bit by bit. The main aim is making things simpler, and easier for customers to do business with us.

In partnership with Laithwaites  |

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