Top 14 UK retailers: multiple opportunities

10th October, 2016 by Arabella Mileham - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

11. SPAR
Stores: 2,300+ independent stores within the Spar symbol group
Buyers: Four on BWS, two wine, one beer, one spirits
Range: 150 core range
Average bottle price: £5.40+
Annual wine retail sales: £110m

Spar in Northampton Spar’s biggest challenge and opportunity is to communicate better with consumers about its wine, according to licensed director Chris Lewis. In a range that covers “all the bases” for its retailers, around 80% of sales come from the core range of 150 wines that are stocked by the majority of its 2,300 stores. Beefing up the premium side recently means stores with more affluent customer and larger stores can play around the edges and the plan is to double distribution of these wines to around 200 stores next year.

The ethos is to satisfy demand on a central basis to get the best possible prices for retailers rather than have them going “ad hoc to wine merchants and paying through the nose for a product”, head of license Tina Hird explains.

So far, so good – sales are growing 6-7% year on year, on the back of plugging some “obvious” gaps and “impressive” premium range rates of sale. “We have a fairly balanced range but what we’ve done this year is to put some news into it and modernised it a bit,” Lewis explains. “We’ve filled in Spain and taken the opportunity to move some areas where we’ve been strong in branded sales into own label, such as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Malbec.”

As a result, own label accounts for around 42% of value sales and 50% of volume, including 7 of its top ten best sellers.

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