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SPAR wine team is expanded as sales are on the up

Published:  28 April, 2009

Local independent retailer SPAR is bucking the recession by reporting above average wine sales of over 9% for the first quarter of the year.

While recent reports indicate that sales of wine have fallen for the first time in decades in supermarkets, convenience stores and garage forecourts, SPAR UK  are reporting that the sales of beer and wine remains strong.

Chris Lewis, SPAR UK licenced trading director said: "The wine market has slowed recently, with sales value up only 4 percent over the last 12 months and minus 1 percent in the four weeks to March 21. SPAR, however, is showing much more positive growth with overall sales up 9.5 percent for the first three months of the year, driven by our core range which is up 22.5 percent over the same period."

Spar has also strengthened its beer, wines and spirits team in the last six months and the uptake in sales is supported by the announcment that Laura Jewell, a Master of Wine will start in Harrow as wine trading controller in May.

Jewell's previous roles include working for the wine agency, HWCG where for four years she was responsible for strategically developing the range, managing suppliers as well as being responsible for all winemaking.

Prior to this, she was Senior Wine Buyer at Sainsbury's for five years with a wide range of buying responsibilities.

Lewis added: "This is great news for our Retailers, RDC's and suppliers as consumers are recognising that we offer good value on a great range of wine in our stores.

The growth is not just from entry level wines, but from all price points, as consumers focus more on entertainment at home, rather than in a pub or restaurant.

"Consumers are benefiting greatly by the ease and convenience of shopping for wine in our stores at the same time as shopping for dinner.

"Studies have shown that as high as 80 percent of convenience store shoppers would never regularly visit an off licence, but would be comfortable buying wine in a convenience store to complement their weekly grocery list."