You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Saturday 4 July 2015

Oddbins unveils makeover

24th November, 2011 by Gabriel Stone

Oddbins’ head buyer Emma Nichols presented a stripped back range of almost entirely new listings last night as the UK retailer showed off its makeover under new ownership.

In place of almost 900 wine SKUs, which Nichols (pictured, left with buyer Ana Sapungiu) admitted “were never all in stock at the same time,” the current range has been pared back to 400, with all except 40 wines being new listings for the high street retailer.

Although 25% of the wines, mostly those from South America, are still being shipped, Nichols was hopeful that they would arrive in time for Christmas.

“We had a job to do in convincing customers about our consistency of supply,” agreed Nichols who, now that the core list is in place, plans to add a few parcels of “more esoteric” wines to complete the range. “It was great to have a clean state and start again,” she remarked.

Despite the fact that a number of Oddbins’ current suppliers took a financial hit when the retailer went into administration earlier this year, Nichols reported plenty of goodwill behind the “financially very secure” business.

“Our suppliers have been brilliant,” she reported. “The ones that were affected realise that the company now has no responsibility for what happened before.”

Under EFB ownership, Oddbins currently has 38 stores around the UK, of which 20 are in London, nine in Scotland, and others in high footfall locations in places such as Oxford, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Tunbridge Wells.

Having made a conscious decision to move away from the discounting model which created further inconsistencies for customers, Nichols said: “We’re working very collaboratively with our suppliers to make sure it’s a sustainable relationship for them.”

“We’ve reduced our margin requirements because we’re not funding discounts,” Nichols explained. “We’ve stripped away promotional activity and are just allowing the wines to do their job.”

For this reason, despite describing as “a little bit scary” a recent consumer price setting exercise in which customers were invited to blind taste a selection of wines and suggest how much they should cost, Nichols declared the final result a success.

After taking an average of the price recommendations, each of the wines is now on the shelf “within about 50 pence of where we’d have priced them anyway,” she revealed.

So can Oddbins carve itself a profitable niche between the multiple retailers, standalone independents and Majestic, which announced a 20% rise in half-year profits this month?

Nichols is now positive about the company’s position within this spectrum, maintaining: “Our strength, I would say, is wine between £7 and £13. We’re offering really high value there and selling single bottles, unlike Majestic.”

She also emphasised the importance of “moving away from price promotions and bigger brands to differentiate ourselves from the supermarkets.”

In short, she summed up: “It’s about getting that personality. This should be a fun place to buy an interesting and fun product.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Pub landlord kills customer with ironing board

A pub landlord has been found guilty of killing a wealthy American customer by more...

Pimm's and English wine sales leap

UK supermarket Waitrose has noted a surge in sales for Pimm's, strawberries and more...

Tesco sales take a tumble despite price cuts

Tesco's like-for-like sales fell by 1.3% in the three months to 30 May, an more...

Hatch Mansfield – Brand Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive salary

UK market in growth as price increases slow

The latest figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association show that more...

Bordeaux 2005: Biggest movers

Expectation surrounding the 2005s is building and pushing up prices for top more...

Auction house snaps up online wine specialist

Online auction firm Bid for Wine has been sold to The Fine Art Auction Group in more...

Supplier Relationship Manager

London, United Kingdom

Vinadeis unveils Languedoc 'black diamonds'

One of France’s largest wine producers has launched a high-end Languedoc more...

Santa Rita launching new Irish campaign

Chilean wine producer Santa Rita Estates is spending €500,000 on a new more...

English fizz attracts new deal

English sparkling wine producer Jenkyn Place has stepped up its ambitions by more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom


WOSA woos UK indies and on-trade

Wines of South Africa has announced plans for a new UK trade tasting later this more...

Rise for Haut Bailly in Liv-ex 2015 classification

Liv-ex’s bi-annual “re-classification” of Bordeaux saw Haut Bailly leap more...

Accolade's Fish Hoek goes Fairtrade

South Africa's Fish Hoek is to go Fairtrade from the 2015 vintage, becoming more...

PR Manager


Asda warns suppliers of Champagne scam

Asda is warning suppliers to be on guard after several companies received more...

Q&A: John Barbier, the Colorado cook-vintner

“I have never followed a recipe in my life, I’m a man of instinct”, more...

Oddbins woos Naked staff with love letters

Oddbins has allegedly been sending love letters and bottles of wine to key more...

Digital and Communications Executive

£22,000-£26,000 dependent on experience

En primeur: beware the heralded vintage?

From an investment point of view is it best to buy the “vintages of the more...

Top 10 wines in the UK press

An English fizz fit for Wimbledon, a "chunky, berry-stuffed" Negroamaro and a more...

Diageo closes in on £200m Gleneagles deal

Drinks giant Diageo is reportedly “close” to agreeing a sale of its luxury more...

Social Media Editor


Californian wine struggling with supply

There is a "growing mismatch" between supply and demand that is badly hampering more...

Lidl hints at plans for online wine shop

UK supermarket Lidl has not ruled out launching an online wine shop, reporting more...