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Published:  23 July, 2008

Tesco's BWS category director Mark Murphy has denied industry rumours that Tesco is preparing to slash its wine range to 450 wines, with Constellation accounting for a third of them. Murphy said that those figures are extreme to say the least We are looking to simplify the range but it isn't a radical cull. One of our great strengths is our wide offer.' He added that Tesco category manager for wine, Ann-Marie Bostock, is working on a special project for me, looking at how we can simplify the whole operation. This will be great news for the industry as it will mean significantly improved availability of wine on the shelf and stock forecasting will be more efficient. Although, whoever told you that Constellation will have a third of the slots has been drinking too much of their own product.' A high-profile industry figure told Harpers that he had been told that, Tesco is looking to declutter the wine fixture with a view to reducing stock levels and make the fixture easier to shop. I gather that would mean a reduction from 750 to 450 wines.' Murphy indicated no timescale for the category review, but added that he felt his buying team has never been stronger' and that Tesco's wine sales were extremely healthy.