On Monday 28 October a new online wine retailing site from UK supermarket Asda will go live.
Called The Wine Shop, the grocer’s upcoming web-based store will list 200 new wines in addition to 300 of the supermarket’s current Extra Special and branded lines.
Similar to Tesco, which allows customers to buy wine in any quantity with their groceries at Tesco.com, or shop from a larger range of wines at Tesco Wine by the Case, Asda will retain its wine offer on asda.com and use The Wine Shop for a broader range of wines sold in quantities of six bottles or more.
Also like Tesco’s Wine by the Case, Asda’s Wine Shop will sell fine wines as well as parcels of wine from producers, although it won’t employ web-based retailing tactics such as flash sales or co-buys.
Speaking to the drinks business yesterday, Tracy Ford, Asda’s BWS director said that the launch of The Wine Shop was part of a wider strategy to develop web-based sales at Asda.
“Online is one our strategic pillars for growth; it is a huge focus for us, whether that’s for food, George [Asda’s clothing label] or general merchandise.”
With wine specifically, she explained that The Wine Shop was designed to “broaden the consumer we are appealing to”, using a range including higher priced labels from suppliers the supermarket already works with, such as Cono Sur’s 20 Barrels and Hardy’s Eileen Hardy Chardonnay, as well as entirely new producers, for example Conde de Vimioso and Fossil, two brands from Portuguese winemakers.
Currently, Ford said that 5% of Asda’s wine sales are online, and that the supermarket intends to double that proportion within the next two years.
She also told db that Asda intends to expand the range of wines listed on The Wine Shop to 800 skus by September next year, more than the 600 available in-store or on asda.com
Like Tesco’s Wine by the Case, Asda’s The Wine Shop will sell fine wines
Speaking more generally about online retailing, she said that the launch of The Wine Shop was a response to the growing proportion of wine sales going through the web in the UK because it’s easier for shoppers.
“Consumer habits are changing and we are seeing that increasingly shoppers want more convenience,” she said, noting that The Wine Shop will offer a “click and collect” service, allowing customers to pick up their wine orders at Asda supermarkets with their groceries.
Similarly, Philippa Carr MW, head wine buyer at the supermarket added, “We are giving the customer another way of accessing the wines we have.”
She also told db that should those wines which are exclusive to The Wine Shop sell well, the supermarket would consider listing them in its stores too.
Considering the Wine Shop’s range, which will go live on Monday, she said that a high proportion of the wines would be from France, and that this would be higher than found in Asda supermarkets.
Carr also said that she was looking forward to the opportunity to communicate with Asda’s wine customers.
“You can actually tell the story and then hear the answer from the customer, you can interact, and we are really excited about the prospect of getting comments online from our customers.”
She also said that the site would contain a mixture a medals, press reviews and customer comments in a bid to promote the wines listed online.
The Wine Shop – key facts
• The Wine Shop can be visited from Monday 28 October at www.ASDA.com/wineshop
• The Wine Shop will contain 500 wines.
• 300 of these will be pre-existing Asda Extra Special and branded lines.
• 200 of these will be new and exclusive to The Wine Shop.
• Some of the 200 new labels are parcels and some are “fixed buys” – for instance, The Wine Shop will have a small allocation of Cloudy Bay.
• 100 of the wines on the new site are described as fine wine by Asda.
• 10% of the Wine Shop range will be Asda own-label and 20% of the wines will be exclusive to the supermarket.
• The Wine Shop will contain blogs from the Asda buying team along with producer reviews and stories.
• The minimum order size will be 6 bottles.
• There will be no minimum spend and delivery will be free until the end of the year.
• 5% of Asda’s wines sales are currently through asda.com
• Asda list 600 wines on asda.com and in store.
• Asda plans to extend The Wine Shop’s range from 500 to 800 skus by September 2014.
• To read more about UK online wine retailing trends, click here.