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An Independent View on the supermarkets dodgy discounts.

Published:  28 October, 2013

Having watched Oz Clarke quite rightly inform the nation of the nonsensical 'half price' wine offers in supermarkets on the recent BBC programme Watchdog, I asked myself a couple of questions; 'Who actually buys these 'half price' wines?' and 'Do they really think they are getting a bargain?'

It would appear that by the regularity of these offers that most of the country are buying these wines and yes they really do think they are getting the deal of the century.

So what is the problem? The supermarkets would say they are giving their customers what they want and the Great British public think they have bagged themselves a bargain. For me, that is exactly the problem, the consumer 'thinks' they are getting a bargain and as most of us know, they aren't, they are being taken for a ride by the cloak and dagger antics of some of the big supermarkets, particularly Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda.

As someone who manages an Independent wine shop it infuriates me when a customer tells me how they often buy a £10 wine for £5 at the supermarket. Occasionally, I will reply by advising them that those wines they have paid £5 for are worth exactly that - £5 and not a penny more.

Judging by the increased sales and comments from new and regular customers in our shop following the Watchdog episode it would appear to me that the majority of people are just unaware of these misleading practices. In my opinion Oz Clarke did a fine job of informing the public of what they were actually paying for. The more presenters, writers, columnists and independent retailers can educate their readers and customers about fake wine offers and the true cost of a bottle of wine the better.

It may appear like I'm demonising supermarkets. I'm not, I actually think you can get some decent wines in them at decent prices and they offer consumers choice but I feel that these phoney discounts are detrimental to the wine industry and the growth of independent merchants like ourselves.