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Wine Cellar Case Study

Wine Cellar is a major independent drinks retailer, based predominantly in the north of England. I offered a focused training solution on customer service, known as Great Expectations.

Here’s what they had to say:


Wine Cellar Ltd has over 180 stores and has experienced huge amounts of change over the last two years. Our customers voted us Best Overall Retailer, Most Friendly Staff and Fastest Service at the 2005 SOL Track awards and the Community Retailer of the Year for 2006. We have a large percentage of staff who joined the company 30 years ago and who are still selling in the stores today. Many have been supported in progressing to Senior Sales staff, Branch Managers and Senior Branch Managers.

We recognised that Senior Branch managers and a core group of Branch managers shared similar traits for developing our business and achieving success. However this was not the case across the whole of the business and as an HR and Operational team we realised that something was missing from Wine Cellar culture, in terms of how we looked after both our team and the customer.

We realised we did not have anyone in the team/business to translate our vision and thoughts; which is why we approached a number of external training companies to help us.

We wanted to achieve the following goals:

After considering the proposals put forward by the external consultants and considering which would most effectively match our requirements and style, we opted for Million Training.

What did Million do

Million Training recommend and designed a customer focused programme Great Expectations which embraced and reflected the way of life within Wine Cellars.

Karen O’Connor of Million Training ran 15 programmes that were attended by all Head Office Staff and Branch Managers to allow everyone the opportunity to embrace the key messages. Each session focused on having fun, making a difference, choosing the right attitude, team working and generating sales.

The Outcome

We said at our initial meetings with Million that we would have been happy with an initial 50% buy in. Three months after the programme had been launched, we had big smiles on our faces when asked the question about the impact of the programme on the business. We were able to say:


In a very short time it became apparent that choosing Karen to do our training was the best thing we could have done. Karen took on board our thoughts and vision and translated it into a training course that achieved our own expectations and, more importantly, created a learning experience that our employees thoroughly enjoyed and embraced as a way to drive our business forward in a positive way. Karen is professional, extremely enthusiastic and delivers her training at a level that matches her audience. We have no hesitation in asking Karen to come back and we hope that our relationship with her continues.

Ann Worrall, HR Business Partner and Warren Leath, Operational Director, Wine Cellars Ltd

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