300 off-licence jobs in pipeline across Scotland

George MacRitchie (left) and Philip Craig
Image caption The company was established in 2009 by a former investment banker and ex-drinks industry manager

The firm behind a new off-licence chain is planning to create more than 300 jobs by opening about 50 stores across Scotland over the next two years.

Paisley-based BrandInvestGroup has already opened 15 off-licences under its Winehouse and Cellar No.1 brands.

A further six shops are due to open before the end of October.

The firm was established in 2009 by former investment banker George MacRitchie and drinks industry manager Philip Craig.

Winehouse's key focus will be on wine from small and mid-size producers, while Cellar No.1 will be a more mainstream dedicated off-licence.

BrandInvestGroup has moved to acquire more shops after taking the lease on 15 outlets formerly run by First Quench, which traded as Wine Rack, Haddows, Victoria Wine and Threshers before going into administration last year.

'Team experience'

Stores under the Winehouse brand have already opened in Kilmacolm, Helensburgh, Oban, Dunoon, Dunblane and Edinburgh. Over the next six weeks other stores will open in Campbeltown, Kelso, Lochgilphead, Currie and Edinburgh.

A Cellar No. 1 store will start operating soon in Torry, Aberdeenshire, after branches opened in Rothesay, Greenock, Glasgow and Invergordon.

George MacRitchie said: "BrandInvestGroup was formed as a vehicle to invest in and manage a portfolio of brands.

"Given the experience of the team these will initially be in the retail and drinks industries. However, as the company develops we will look at other areas within the scope of our expertise."

The £1m investment in Winehouse and Cellar No.1 was part-funded by the Clydesdale Bank.

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