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Simon Cairns appointed to head up The Co-operative's wine team

Published:  22 March, 2013

The Co-operative Group has appointed Simon Cairns as wine category trading manager.

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The Co-operative Group has appointed Simon Cairns as wine category trading manager.

 

Cairns has nine years' experience in the wine industry and was previously a buyer for Morrisons, where he was responsible for wines from Australia, New Zealand and Italy. He joined Morrisons in 2008 and previously bought wine for Young's Wholesale in Leeds, and Spar wholesaler James Hall and Sons in Preson.

 

The role of wine category trading manager is a new one at The Co-operative Group. The wine division was formerly headed up by wine development manager Paul Bastard who took voluntary redundancy after 19 years with the business last August.

 

Cairns will be tasked with ensuring the retailer provides an interesting, great value range of quality wines.

 

"I have always been focused on making wine more approachable for customers, and one of my aims is to improve our interaction with our shoppers by presenting them with easy-to-shop fixtures and clear communications.

 

"The Co-operative accounts for 60% of the UK's Fairtrade wine sales which is a fantastic achievement, and Fairtrade will stay firmly on the agenda. I also plan to focus even more on Champagne and sparkling wines, to further enhance our market-leading performances in these categories," he said.

 

Yesterday the Co-operative Group reported a 0.7% decline in like-for-like sales in its food business. Including new store openings, sales rose 1.4% to £7.44 billion in the year to January 5, but underlying profits fell by 9.5% to £288 million.

 

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Jenny Mackenzie reports from the first Morrisons Cellar wine showase

Published:  20 March, 2013

Morrisons Cellar's first wine showcase to the press was on its Taste Test theme. The venue space in Marylebone was decorated like an interiors stand at a lifestyle event, with four open-plan, "room set" layouts and the wines grouped in the Taste Test flavour profiles of Sweet, Fresh, Smooth and Intense.

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Broadlands Wineries to 'undercut' wine agencies

Published:  15 March, 2013

Broadland Wineries claims it can get new wines to market, from inception to shelf, a month earlier than its competitors.

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Fewer promotions for Sainsbury's BWS

Published:  14 March, 2013

Sainsbury's plans to move its BWS pricing towards an everyday value proposition and run fewer promotions.

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Tesco sticks out its neck with restaurant chain acquisition

Published:  13 March, 2013

Tesco has acquired restaurant chain Giraffe for £48.6 million.

TextTesco has acquired restaurant chain Giraffe for £48.6 million.

 

Tesco said the acquisition forms part of its strategy to "develop the space in some of its larger stores and create even more compelling retail destinations where customers can meet, eat and drink, as well as shop". The first Giraffe restaurant to open next to a Tesco store will be near London.

 

Kevin Grace, group commercial director at Tesco said: "We invest in businesses that add value for our customers online or offline; as we've done with Harris + Hoole, Euphorium, blinkbox, and now Giraffe. We have the opportunity to develop some of the space in our larger stores to create retail destinations that offer customers even more choice. Giraffe is hugely popular with a wide range of ages and particularly families - we think our customers will love it."

 

The first Giraffe opened in Hampstead, North London in 1998 and the group now consists of 48 sites nationwide, including franchised sites at Heathrow and other UK airports as well as one in Dubai.

 

Russel Joffe, managing director and founder at Giraffe said: "This move will allow us to introduce Giraffe to a wider audience, presents great opportunities for growth and for the team to be involved in an exciting stage in our brand's development. It will be very much business as usual at Giraffe."

 

The original founders, husband and wife team Russel and Juliette Joffe, along with Andrew Jacobs, will remain in place with Russel continuing as managing director. Risk Capital Partners and 3i have sold their combined stake of and are no longer involved in the business.

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Tesco makes raft of UK wine appointments

Published:  12 March, 2013

Tesco has bolstered its UK wine team following the recent news that Dan Jago and some of his colleagues will take on a more global role. TextTesco has bolstered its UK wine team following the recent news that Dan Jago and some of his colleagues will take on a more global role.

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Lucy Clements leaves Cornerstone for Tesco role

Published:  08 March, 2013

Cornerstone director of winemaking Lucy Clements is leaving the US importer to take on a role at Tesco.

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Richard Weaver, Majestic Wine

Published:  01 March, 2013

With online now accounting for 10% of its overall sales, Glynn Davis talks to Richard Weaver, Majestic Wine's e-commerce director, about how it is looking to maximise internet sales even further

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Oddbins' head buyer Emma Nichols departs

Published:  01 March, 2013

Oddbins' head buyer Emma Nichols has left the business, Harpers can reveal.

Text Oddbins' head buyer Emma Nichols has left the business, Harpers can reveal.

 

Nichols started her wine career with Oddbins and returned to the company after university where she worked in the shops before moving to the buying department. She spent time working for Safeway, Vinoceros and Constellation before returning to Oddbins as head of buying when 37 branches and the Oddbins brand name were bought out of administration by European Food Brokers (EFB) in April 2011.

 

Nichols was instrumental in building a new range of wines for the chain when it was bought by EFB, and for moving its pricing model away from high-low promotions. She streamlined the range from about 900 to 400 SKUs, and kept only around 100 that had been sold by the chain before it collapsed.

 

An Oddbins spokesman said: "Emma Nichols is no longer in the business and responsibility for her buying areas has been assumed by Ana Sapungiu."

 

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Oddbins on track for profit despite £1.1m loss in first months of new company

Published:  01 March, 2013

Oddbins has insisted it is on track to make a profit within three years after it reported a £1.1 million loss in the first months of operation under new management in 2011.

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Gallo launches 5.5% abv Summer White

Published:  01 March, 2013

California giant Gallo has become the latest winery to move into the lower-alcohol market with launch of 5.5% abv Summer White.

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New lighter style addition for Gallo Family Vineyards

Published:  28 February, 2013

Gallo Family Vineyards is hoping to appeal to consumers who enjoy lighter and fruitier wine styles with a new range addition.

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Q&A: Tatiana Fokina, chief executive, Hedonism Wines

Published:  15 February, 2013

The head of Hedonism Wines tells Elinor Zuke why the London retail operation aspires to be the finest wine shop in the world

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Drinks industry shows increasing web presence

Published:  08 February, 2013

The Whisky Shop is currently sitting at the top of the drinks industry listings at 12th place in the Sitemorse 500 best-performing UK retail websites in Q1.

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Increased web presence for drinks in Sitemorse top 500

Published:  07 February, 2013

The Whisky Shop is currently sitting at the top of the drinks industry listings at 12th place in the Sitemorse 500 best-performing UK retail websites in Q1.

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Hallgarten Druitt strengthens senior management team for growth

Published:  05 February, 2013

Hallgarten Druitt has poached two new senior members for its management team from major competitors as part of its continued strategy to improve and deepen its level of service across the on and off-trades.

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Retailers raise a glass to Comic Relief

Published:  01 February, 2013

From today online retailers, supermarkets and off - licences will donate a proportion of their sales to help disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa as part of Wine Relief 2013.

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From today online retailers, supermarkets and off - licences will donate a proportion of their sales to help disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa as part of Wine Relief 2013.

 

A total of 87 specially selected wines will be sold by Laithwaite's, Majestic, Naked Wines, Virgin Wines, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Oddbins and Selfridges in the run up to Red Nose Day on Friday March 15, with 10% of the retail price going to Comic Relief.

 

The event was created by Jancis Robinson MW, and has raised £4 million since 1999. "Most of us add wine to our weekly shop, so it makes sense to pick up a bottle that's part of Wine Relief. It's about making the choice to choose a bottle that leaves a good taste in your mouth, not only because it's a great wine, but more importantly because you're helping to raise money for Comic Relief at the same time," Robinson said.

 

TV presenter Claudia Winkleman suggested holding a retro wine and cheese tasting party to raise money for Comic Relief. "Cheese and pineapple on a stick in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, sounds like the perfect night in," she said.

 

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MPs oppose minimum pricing plans

Published:  31 January, 2013

Conservative MPs have blasted minimum alcohol pricing proposals in the same week the WSTA launched a campaign to stymie the government's plans.

 

David Cameron has championed plans for minimum pricing at 45p per unit and a ban on multibuy deals in a bid to tackle binge drinking. The proposals form part of the Alcohol Strategy consultation, which closes next week.

 

The WSTA's Why Should Responsible Drinkers Pay More campaign, backed by major retailers and drinks suppliers, is an attempt to raise consumer awareness about the subject and encourage them to ask their MPs to vote against the proposals.

 

A number of Tory MPs told Harpers they are already opposed to the plans. "The teenagers who drink grossly to excess on a Friday or Saturday night would still do so - they would 'preload' and carry on regardless or, worse still, turn to illegal drugs which are often cheaper already," said Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale West.

 

Conservative MP for Shipley, Philip Davies, said he was "opposed to government pricefi xing in principle". "I also do not like the idea that we are trying to clamp down on poorer people drinking excessively, but are happy to allow richer people - who already pay more for their alcohol than the proposed minimum price - to carry on as before," he said.

 

Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Asda also backed the WSTA's campaign. "We take our position as a responsible retailer seriously but believe the government's plans on minimum unit pricing will punish those customers who consume alcohol responsibly," said Morrisons head of corporate aff airs Guy Mason. "The evidence suggests that the issue of alcohol abuse will not be eff ectively tackled with this measure and the social aspects at the root of the problem should be addressed."

 

However, leading independent wine merchants have backed the plans. The Oxford Wine Company managing director Ted Sandbach said minimum pricing would give his company a better chance to compete with the supermarket as they would "no longer be able to promote at silly prices."

 

Chris Piper, chairman of Christopher Piper Wines in Devon, said minimum pricing "discourages the high street suppliers from selling off cheap alcoholic drinks at prices that are subsidised by suppliers and are not sustainable in the long term."

 

Under 45p minimum unit pricing, a bottle of wine at 13% abv would cost at least £4.39, and £4.88 if the minimum unit price was 50p. A bottle of 70cl vodka at 37.5% abv would cost at least £11.81 under 45p and £13.13 under 50p minimum unit pricing.

 

Three quarters of the consumers surveyed on the WSTA's site so far believed minimum pricing to be unfair.

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ExCellar enters administration

Published:  29 January, 2013

ExCellar, the independent wine merchant owned by Simon Baile, the former managing director of Oddbins, has been placed into administration.

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Drinks industry launches public campaign against minimum pricing

Published:  25 January, 2013

 

The drinks industry is to launch the first consumer-facing campaign to mobilise mass opposition to the government's minimum unit pricing plans.

 

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association has galvanised the support of major supermarkets and drinks brands to launch a consumer campaign under the "Why Should Responsible Drinkers Pay More" banner. A dedicated website is due to go live next Tuesday. Retail backers include Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons with drinks suppliers on board including SAB Miller and Diageo.

 

The site will include information about how minimum unit pricing will affect beer wines and spirits products and tell consumers how to send a letter calling for their MP's support on the issue. It will be backed by a radio and PR campaign.

 

"A 45p minimum unit pricing will increase the price of regular shopping basket items like beers wine and spirits and not just target binge drinkers," said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

Under 45p minimum unit pricing, a bottle of wine at 13% abv would cost at least £4.39, and £4.88 if the minimum unit price was 50p.

 

A bottle of 70cl vodka at 37.5% abv would cost at least £11.81 under 45p and £13.13 under 50p minimum unit pricing, while a 70cl bottle of whisky at 40% abv would rise to £12.60 or £14.

 

"We've done a decent job so far on talking to the political classes about this, but we need ordinary people to understand what the government is proposing and for their voices to be heard.

 

"Consumers are voters too, and our research shows the more people find out about minimum  pricing, the less they like it. Minimum pricing is unfair, probably illegal, and won't tackle the problem of binge drinking. " said Beale.

 

The Home Office's Alcohol Strategy consultation closes on February 6 with potential legislation expected to be revealed in the Queen's Speech in May.

 

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