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Black Friday kicks off Christmas wine sales

Retailers appear to be “officially” eschewing Black Friday in their beers, wines and spirits aisles – but many are still using it as a launch pad for Christmas deals on wines and spirits.

The US-style post-Thanksgiving sale bonanza was introduced to the UK in 2010 but has seen something of a backlash this year, following the chaos seen in stores last year, as shoppers tried to secure bargains on big ticket items.

Tesco, the UK’s largest wine retailer, said it had no “specific plans” for BWS on Black Friday, but this week it launched a promotional deal promising 25% off when customers buy six or more bottles of wines in store and online at its grocery site (excluding Tesco Wine-by-the-Case). The offer is set to run until midnight on Sunday.

Sainsbury’s is running a similar deal on wines, champagnes, sherry and port, which will run online and in-store (excluding Scotland and convenience formats) for ten days, until Sunday 6 December. Its top offers includes Taste the Difference Prosecco for £65.22 for six (ie £10.87) or £14.50 individually, down from £19, Lanson Black Label and Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut NV Champagne are available as a half case for £90 (£15 per bottle) or £20 individually, down from £30 and £35 respectively.

Both retailers appear to be marketing it as a Christmas offer, rather than something specifically for Black Friday.

Morrison has introduced a Black Five Days promotion, with 6 bottles of wine for £20, including La Vida Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon, Blossom Hill Grenache Rose and The Horologist Sauvignon Blanc. It is limited to a maximum of 12 bottles per customer.

Lidl and Aldi also confirmed to The Drinks Business they have no plans, an Aldi spokesman adding the discounter “doesn’t do Black Friday savings, as every day is black Friday”, and issuing the cartoon above. Oddbins has gone one step further in eschewing the American import, with posters in store pointing out that prices on Black Friday are the same as on any other day.

However some specialists are embracing the opportunity.  Majestic today launched a 33% offer off all Rioja and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, across its bricks and mortar estate and online, which will run throughout the weekend until the close of play on Monday. Stores will be offering shoppers tasting on a selection of Riojas and New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs which they say offers “much more relaxing shopping experience”.

And independent and online retailer Corks Out today launched a 48 hour Black Friday sale, after seeing a 60% boost to sales on Black Friday last year.

Operations manager Richard Wood told the Drinks Business it provided a very positive opportunity for independent and online wine as there was little chance of the mass hysteric seen in some of the multiples.

“We saw a 60% increase on the previous period and over the course of the week, which included Cyber Monday, there was a 47% differential, so we’re embracing it again,” he said. “We saw a massive increase in our online traffic and it was a big talking point.”

“I think we expected a certain amount of cannibalization, but we didn’t see any signs of it.”

The retailer has knocked £200 off a case of Laurent Perrier Rose Champagne (from £659.88 to £467.88) including free delivery, and 12 bottles of Dolci Prosecco down from £119.40 to £83.88. Other offers include a mixed case of 6 wines from £91.94. Other offers and saving on Chateau Musar Red 2000 from £29.99 to £22.99 per bottle, while Pol Roger Brut Champagne falls from £41.00 to £29.99.

Online retailer Roberson has also launched its Christmas fine wine sales today, offering up to 29% off more than 50 wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy.

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