Our London team recently moved to its new home on Wardour Street, in the heart of Soho and a stone's throw from Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Piccadilly. We chatted to Nick Temperley, London's general manager, about the reasons behind the move and his aspirations for his team and the business.
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Can you tell us a bit more about decision to move the London office from Kings Cross to Soho?
There were two reasons for the move really. The first is that I was keen to have an office in London that we and our shareholders would be super proud to work in. Our original shared space setup in Kings Cross served its purpose as a base to start the London key city strategy, but our business and our ambition has moved on and we need more room. To me, a physical space is much more than just a place for people to turn up and log-on. It is an essential part of building a team and a culture, it can act as a 'spiritual home' for our brands and very importantly, it is essential for the attraction and retention of talented staff. I believe that we have found somewhere that has the potential to do all this.
The second reason for the move is about location. Soho was a no-brainer really – it is the most vibrant, diverse, energetic and trend-leading part of London – especially for our industry, and we are literally surrounded by our customers. Over the road is 100 Wardour, down the street is Bar Termini and Swift. We are next door to the Amathus shop and Jerry’s (legendary spirits retailer) is across the street, as are the whisky specs of Vintage House, Soho Wines and The Whisky Shop Piccadilly. We are looking forward to hosting all these customers and more at our new bar once it is up and running in the New Year.
What does the move mean for Edrington-Beam Suntory UK?
More than anything it says that we are now truly 'one business, two locations'. It completes the move from Stirling to have the business situated in the centre of Glasgow and London. It also provides greater flexibility for staff, many of whom have already taken advantage of the office to work for the day, and - as for a recent marketing role - the potential to be permanently located in London.
Now you have moved in, what are your longer term plans for the new office space?
It’s hard to look long-term right now as we are surrounded by cardboard boxes and rented furniture. However, a big part of the future plans will be using the bar to engage with the trade, launch new products and to build brand passion with our own staff. Beyond that, I would love our shareholders to use the boardroom for their exec and team meetings. The benefits of this are hard to quantify but closer collaboration on brand and commercial plans can only be a good thing.
You’ve been with us for just over a year now, can you tell us a bit about your role and your aspirations for the London team?
My role as a GM is just what I was looking for – massively varied and every day seems to bring a new challenge. If I had to simplify, my role is essentially about building teams and building brands….and of course hitting my numbers along the way! Looking forward, we have a clear financial ambition for the channel. Most of all though, I would love to help build a happy, motivated team where everybody can truly be themselves and are stretched to deliver to their potential. If we can do this, I’m certain we will have the fastest-growing premium spirits business in London.
Finally, the most important question – what is your favourite serve?
Tough one, totally depends on the occasion. Right now, I’ll go for a refreshing Toki highball.