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Tesco bolsters wine team as it looks to improve quality and customer focus

Published:  12 November, 2014

Tesco has boosted its wine team with the addition of an assistant buyer and quality manager.

Tesco has boosted its wine team with the addition of an assistant buyer and quality manager.  

Catherine Friend is coming on board the buying team as an assistant buyer with responsibility for fortified wine, Portuguese and wine-gift categories.  Friend was previously assistant buyer for independent department store Jarrold's, in Norwich. 

Nick Hood, who joined the Tesco Wine by the Case team almost three years ago, is moving across to the main business team to take up a new role of quality manager for BWS. He will be reporting directly into Laura Jewell MW, who said: "Nick will be taking up a newly-created position within the Tesco wine team.  It is a key role which will focus around ongoing quality improvement with a strong customer focus."

The new recruits come at a time of uncertainty for the Tesco wine team. The global BWS head Dan Jago was suspended in October as part of the retailer's investitation in to its overstatement of profits. Since then there has been no formal information from Tesco about who is acting as his replacement. Suppliers have expressed concern over a lack of long-term strategy at the retailer, as the investigation continues, this time with the Serious Fraud Office's involvement, into the £263 million profit overstatement.

Tesco sign

Tesco new drinks fixtureTesco is boosting its wine team with two new additionsThe retailer is adding a BWS quality manager and assistant wine buyer to its team.

The supermarket is also trimming its wine range by about 150 lines - a move announced before the financial scandal, and is also reducing its reliance on wine promotions over the Christmas period by 75%.

UK & group wine category manager Alain Guilpain said of Friend joining the Tesco team: "We are delighted to welcome Catherine as the newest member of our multi-award winning team."

He added: "We have a fantastic group of people behind both buying and sourcing our great range of wines, and as customers continue to look for great quality and value, we are better placed than ever to deliver it."