First Look: Cost Plus World Market Framingham

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cost Plus World Market in Framingham, MA
National retailer Cost Plus World Market opened recently in Framingham, MA. If you're not familiar with the chain it's sort of a mashup of Pier 1 Imports and Trader Joe's. Funky decor and unique grocery items, along!

We had a chance to visit recently, about a week after their grand opening. The Framingham location is situated in Shopper's World where Office Depot used to be, next to Chipotle.

I remember visiting their stores back in the day on the west coast. The wine assortment resembles Trader Joe's in that it introduces consumers to funky worldy picks along with a heavy dose of everyday red wines. The average price seemed higher to me than TJ's however, and there were fewer private label wines at World Market.
20% off when you buy 4 or more bottles
The store was still being stocked when we visit, but the wine area takes up about 20% of the floor space, in the back right of the store.

They were running a 20% off sale if you bought 4 bottles of wine. I rather liked that volume requirement. Totally reasonable (though not as good as Trader Joe's where the prices are fixed regardless of how many bottles you buy).

Actually, the discount pricing was a little confusing. There's a regular price, a sale price, then a 20% off discount price if you buy 4 bottles, at leastt when I was there. Now that I look at my receipt I was charged $13.59 for the 7 Deadly Zins rather than the $12.99 mentioned on the sign below. Oh well, new store startup issues I guess, but it's an example of why I prefer a simple pricing structure.
Uh oh, this $12.99 wine rang up as $13.59 for me
Here are four wines I picked up, and what I thought of them.

2012 Michael-David Vineyards 7 Deadly Zins [WWP Pick]

There is a lot to like here in the $10-$15 range. Rich, inviting fruit backed by baking spices on the nose. Dark red velvet mouthfeel. Acidity is lacking but the flavors never get overripe nor pruney. Pairs well, for a red wine, with spice-driven dishes. And quite enjoyable on its own. I like it. 15.0% alcohol.

88/100 WWP: Very Good

Dave Phinney "I" [Italy] Locations Red 

I was looking forward to trying this as a new world winemaker's take on old world wines. Unfortuantely it didn't delivery a lot of excitement. Hints of Italy on the nose, but after that it was most just "there" with no differentiated appeal.

82/100 WWP: Good

"The Rule" Cabernet

Trendy looking label, but not a lot to get excited about. Non-descript entry level California Cabernet. I can usually do better at this price point.

80/100 WWP: Good

2014 Apothic Dark

In certain settings I've enjoyed the regular Apothic Red more this "Dark" offering. Didn't seem any darker (visually, nor in weight) and it lacked depth. Rather sickly sweet and a bit smarmy.

78/100 WWP: Mediocre

Bottom Line

Cost Plus World Market continues the commoditization of retail wine market in the Boston area. Whereas we used to have primarly dusty bottled old guard retailers, we now have boutique fine wine retailers, more wine in grocery stores, and more chains coming into the area.

I don't see this particular retailer filling a niche for me. Their sale prices can be beat at many grocery stores, and their assortment isn't particularly exciting.

Overall Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Question of the Day: Have you shopped at a Cost Plus World Market? If so, what did you think? Where is their assortment strongest?

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