Among the essentials you usually pick up from the local cornershop like toothpaste, pints of milk and late-night Tiskies, you wouldn’t expect to see truffle and caviar. But for the bougie of residents in SW11, this is apparently completely normal, as the cornershop in the new Battersea Power Station complex is selling some extremely extravagant items, including a bottle of 2007 Petrus for a cool £3,000.
Nestled inside a padlocked and temperature-controlled ‘Fine Wines’ cabinet, the red is one of the most expensive bottles of Bordeaux you can buy. A 2007 Petrus ranges from £1,800 to £8,000 online, so the three-grand bottle actually seems pretty good value.
This bottle of the good stuff is more than three times the price of the average monthly rent of a studio flat in the area, which is £1,000 a month according to the government’s London Rents Map.
Other intriguing items being flogged at The General Store include a £900 bottle of Yamazaki Japanese single malt whisky, a £400 bottle of Dom Perignon and a single cigar for £52. Slightly more modest, it also has black truffle mayo for £7.99 and jars of black truffle slices for £12.99, for people who can’t bear to consume their scrambled eggs without some kind of fancy fungal garnish on top.
People took to Twitter to share their confusion about the extremely expensive items being sold in an otherwise normal-looking convenience store that also sells Co-op own brand stuff.
Andrew Smith tweeted: ‘I popped in last weekend and was mildly thrown by the positioning of Co-op mini picnic eggs and caviar to go in the sarnie section – though to be fair the pricing was akin to Greggs at a service station.’
Another said: ‘A Petrus???? In a small corner shop??? I live in the wrong area…’
Raj Bhatia, founder of The General Store said the ethos of the store was to have ‘everything you want and everything you’d need.’ So while you can get essentials like Kellogg’s cornflakes and Heinz beans, ‘you also get a whole array of exciting goods from around the world’.
According to Bhatia, the shop’s key clientele consist of everyone from office and construction workers, to residents to tourists.
He said its wine selection has been a huge success, and the £3k bottles of Petrus ‘do move’. ‘We have wines from all the major chateaux and having it in our store makes it more accessible to a wider audience.’
He added: ‘You can’t get these everywhere, you’d have to go to specialist [wine] merchants.’
Wine expert Aleesha Hansel said that seeing this kind of wine for sale in a cornershop is ‘definitely not usual.’ She explained that suppliers of the wine are quite selective about who they sell it to, meaning you won’t see it in just any old offie.
‘These types of wines are sold on allocation, meaning they only sell to specific companies and people,’ she said. ‘The cornershop could have bought it via an intermediary but they would have done so knowing that they would have several thousand pounds tied up in stock, so it would have made the educated assumption that they would actually be able to sell them.’
She added: ‘It must be the poshest cornershop in the country!’
The shop sits within the £9 billion regeneration of Battersea Power Station which includes some very luxurious apartments, as well as a huge foodhall and a vertiginous lift. You can rent a three-bedroom penthouse in the building for a reasonable £25,000 a month, or if you’re feeling fancy, you can buy one for £9.5 million. It’s rumoured that Sting lives in one of the flats above the fabled store, so it’s handy for him if he needs a break from strumming his lute.
So next time your pal asks if you want anything from the shop, don’t forget to ask them to grab you a bottle of ‘nice red’, from the special fridge.