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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Christian Davis

One of Tesco's best-known and most popular product development managers, Helen McGinn, has joined McGuigan Simeon Wines Europe (MSW) and left the multiple retailer's wine department further depleted. The Australian wine giant is a major supplier of own-label wine, and of the 20 million litres of wine it sends to the UK, 50% is accounted for by Tesco alone. The appointment of McGinn as PR and marketing manager' signals MSW's ambitions to develop its branded offering in the UK. It is to introduce the McGuigan Gold Label range, comprising of a Shiraz and a Chardonnay, which will have an RRP of 5.99 (expected to be discounted to 3.99) and a range of regional wines from Australia. It also supplies all but one of the Thresher Group's Flinders Realm range of Australian wines. McGinn, who was an experienced wine buyer and product development manager at Tesco, also took on and developed a PR role for the wine department. Her role at MSW is to expand the services to the wine trade and ensure that customers understand more about the diversity of MSW's portfolio of Australian wines'. Lindsay Talas, another high-profile buyer, left Tesco last summer to join Thierry's (Harpers, 9 July), and the retailer's Australian buyer, Phil Reedman MW, was recalled in the autumn to cover for category manager Ann-Marie Bostock, McGuinn and Sarah Turner, all of whom were on maternity leave (Harpers, 1 October). McGuigan Simeon claims that sales to the UK have doubled over the past two years, and McGinn will work alongside MSW (Europe)'s general manager, Robin Copestick, who has managed the company since its formation last year. Additional reporting by Jack Hibberd in Australia