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Asda restructures its wine division

Published:  23 July, 2008

New brooms sweep clean

IN THE WAKE of Russell Burgess' move to Germany as drinks general manager for Wal-Mart and Alastair Morrell's departure for Stratford's Wine Agencies, Asda has restructured its wine department. Emma Fox, previously general marketing manager, beers, wines, spirits and tobacco has taken over from Burgess and becomes general manager, wines and spirits. Fox's new job will "encompass responsibility for both the buying and marketing teams" and will draw on the experience she developed as a buyer at Augustus Barnett as well as her previous marketing roles at Bass and Asda. The two buying positions at Asda will continue to be filled by Chris Elmore and Sara Brook, supported by Gareth Roberts on the marketing side. The Leeds-based multiple retailer is looking for a third wine buyer to take charge of the new fine wine range in its Supercentre stores and areas vacated by Morrell. Meanwhile, Asda has expanded its overall wine range from 340 to 500 lines and introduced more bottles in the 4 plus category, following extensive customer research. "Our customers told us that we had no real depth of choice," Chris Elmore told Harpers. "Wal-Mart has realised that the market is so developed that you have to give customers choice or they will go elsewhere."