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Lidl plots ‘claret offensive’

Discount supermarket chain Lidl is plotting a £12 million autumn “claret offensive” against its rivals in a bid to expand into affluent central London postcodes.

chateau-sociando-malletAs reported by the Evening Standard, the German-owned group is due to launch a 48-strong range of “premium” French wines in September to attract well-heeled shoppers.

With Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône all represented, the wines will be sold for up to a third less than equivalents at competitors Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – Château Sociando-Mallet 2008 for example, will be sold for £25.99.

If the Bordeaux dominant range proves successful, the supermarket plans to follow up with a fine wine range that includes vintage Burgundies priced at £49.99.

Having opened in the Waitrose-friendly Home Counties towns of Dorking and Maidenhead, Lidl now has its sights set on central London.

“There are challenges but if we really want to be established as a leading retailer in the UK then we have to have a presence in central London,” the supermarket’s senior buying manager, Ben Hulme, told the Evening Standard.

“If a few years ago we had stocked a St Emilion Grand Cru, we would only have sold about one a month and it wouldn’t have worked.

“But we feel massively confident about it now. We want to be aiming at people who have not considered us before,” he added.

Lidl’s year on year UK sales to July are up 22% and together with Aldi the chain now controls over 8% of the UK grocery market.

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