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Somerfield completes largest-ever range review

Published:  23 July, 2008

Somerfield has unveiled what its wine trading manager Angela Mount has called the biggest range review in 10 years, with more than 200 changes'. It has also claimed that its wine sales are growing at nearly three times the average growth rate among the multiple retailers as a result.

Mount told Harpers that the latest AC Nielsen Scantrack figures showed an average of 5.3% growth in wine sales among multiple grocers, while Somerfield has posted a 15% increase, excluding sales from newly acquired former Safeway stores.

Speaking at the Somerfield A-Z tasting at the Kensington Roof Gardens on 2 November, Mount claimed the growth was as a result of the range review that was initiated after the multiple commissioned consumer research a year ago.

The harsh fact was a lot of consumers were doing their shopping at Somerfield but buying their wine elsewhere,' she said. Customers wanted more information, more guidance and more wines over 5.'

The research sparked a major review, with Mount and her team tasting more than 1,000 wines from 16 countries. We needed to freshen up our range and tailor our offerings to our various store formats. With 70% of supermarket wine purchases being made by women, we had to help, give guidance and offer more New World wines,' she said. The team's conclusions are as follows.


Champagne: a 50% increase in the range;

Wines above 5: up by 25% to 140 out of a total of 380 lines;

Australia: a move to Western Australia with brands such

as Palandri Riesling, and to Adelaide Hills with the likes

of Nepenthe Tryst;

Chile: strengthening of the 5.99/6.99 price points with brands such as Concha y Toro's Trio range;

South Africa: ditto, with the likes of Excelsior Paddock Shiraz, Boekenhoutskloof Wolftrap and Charles Back Pinotage/Viognier;

Italy freshened up'.


France, Germany and Eastern Europe all reduced. (Spain to remain static.)

To fulfil the perceived demand for better-quality wines, Mount unveiled The Collection, a range of 36 wines that will be available in Somerfield's top

130 stores. Priced between 6 and 20, this is a mix of the classic and the quirky/esoteric,' said Mount.

To help consumers with their wine choices, Mount writes a regular column in the Somerfield magazine, which she says is the fourth most-read women's monthly magazine', and there are Perfect Companions cards sprinkled around the stores suggesting wines to go with dishes, such as Santa Julia Viognier with chicken tikka masala, and Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon with minted lamb shank.

Mount concluded: It's brilliant to see the results coming through. The range looks good, and working with suppliers is important. It is not just some sort of transitional relationship - it is about a trading partnership.'