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Issue 43 - Small is beautiful

Whisky Magazine Issue 43
October 2004


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Small is beautiful

Just miniatures does exactly what it says on the tin - sells just miniatures.

Many distillers will tell you that small stills make the finest whisky, and what is it they say about the way mighty oaks from little acorns grow? I could go on, but I'm sure you can see where we're heading in an article devoted to the retailing of whisky miniatures.

For brothers Justin and Gavin Alexander have proved that running a business with the self-explanatory name of Just Miniatures can be a big money-spinner.

Just Miniatures has a retail outlet on the High Street in Colchester, Essex, and the Alexander brothers are both directors of the firm. Gavin looks after the financial side of the business and oversees its web-site, while Justin puts his previous experience of working for a large off-licence chain into handling stock sourcing and purchase.

The company's web-site came on stream on 1st May last year and the shop opened 12 months later. According to Justin Alexander, it's working well.

“We're very pleased with the way business has gone so far,” he says. “Turnover has quadrupled since we got the shop.”

Apart from direct sales, Just Miniatures currently processes around 300 internet orders per month. There is no minimum order value, and customers may buy a single miniature on line if they wish.

Discussing the origins of the enterprise, Justin Alexander recalls when he was employed in the off-sales trade:

“I sold Glenfiddich and Glenmorangie and so on, and when finally I was in Scotland and decided to visit some distilleries, I bought a miniature bot...

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