Southampton store Cloud Wine is to close. | Pro IQRA News

Pro IQRA News Updates.

A Southampton wine merchant is closing after more than 20 years due to a life crisis.

Cloud Vine in Bedford Place will close its doors for the last time by the end of this month.

Shop owner Gregory Pearce opened the business in 2001 after working in the industry for over ten years.

The 68-year-old said the firm would close due to rising energy bills and the current cost of living crisis.

He said: “It’s never really come back since the lockdown. It’s been a tough time since then and for a small independent shop we haven’t really been able to get going.

“The council reintroducing evening parking charges has also really killed us but I try to think positive. Onwards and upwards.”

Rising energy costs have cut its sales profit by 20 percent, Gregory said.

He now plans to retire with hopes of “taking it easy”.

He said: “I’m going into my retirement so I want to go to the gym more hopefully and get fit. I’ll probably watch a lot of Netflix but I also hope to go to the gym.”

The property will be occupied by Southampton-based Unity Brewing Company and the space will be used as a craft beer and artisan spirits store.

Cloudwine staff will reportedly continue.

Martin Chant, 62, who will go ahead with the new business, said: “It’s a real shame that Cloudwine is closing but I’m delighted to be going ahead with the new shop here.

“With the recession, people have to cut back and alcohol is not necessary but it’s still a shame.”

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