Stores: 525 stores
Buyers: 10 buyers and two wine advisers
Range: 800, broad-based
BWS market share: 13.3% vs 14% grocery, (index 95%) value yoy: 1.8%
As Asda sees falling sales generally, its wine business has been performing strongly, wine buying manager Ed Bests argues, keeping sales level and holding both its market share and average selling price despite the “fiercely competitive market”. But wine is still an area of under-trade.
Since last May’s big review, in which 8% of the range was cut, there have not been any drastic revisions, but Betts described it as the “first step”, with duplication and space allocation to be looked at further: “We will be looking at what Project Renewal means for wine over the course of this year, but at this stage, it’s too early to say what these will be.”
But he argues that the project has enabled Asda to focus on what the consumer wants: better value and a clearer customer proposition. Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec and traditional France are doing well, along with the Extra Special and exclusives wines, which contribute around 50% of sales.
Its La Moneda Reserve Malbec went stratospheric in June after being named best red variety under £15, seeing a more than tenfold increase in sales and prompting a 247% halo affect across the La Moneda range, and a 75% boost to Malbec.
There have also been notable alterations to the team with the departure of Philippa Carr MW, who was instrumental in the launch of the Wine Atlas range, and senior buyer of wine Ed Ashley.