Stores: 3,500 (inc around 1,800+ Express & Metro)
Wine team: five, plus one spirits, one beer buyer and a category format manager Range: 660 (down from 950 wines last year), 40-45% are own label/exclusive
BWS market share: 25.7% vs 25.3% vs grocery (index: 101.6%) value: yoy +1.7
The BWS aisles has been through a tumultuous year at Tesco, with “Project Reset” which slashed nearly 30% of the range, stripped out 270 lines, embraced simpler EDLP pricing and saw the closure of its popular wine community. Only its customer wine fairs survived.
It is not yet obvious how successful the move was, after an initial fall in sales, Nielsen analyst Marc Aston says: “I’m not sure if they have recovered: wine yield is down anyway by around 2% so it certainly wasn’t the shot in the arm the wine category hoped. But it’s too early to say whether it has been a success.”
According to some suppliers, there are concerns the cuts were too savage and alienated a swathe of Tesco’s affluent middle-class customers, and corrective premiumisation is rumoured to be “imminent”.
But the Tesco team remains bullish, buoyed by last month’s well-received Tesco finest* pop-up bar in Soho, which shows the UK’s largest wine retailer can think beyond the confines of the supermarket aisle. db