Booths booze revamp reaps reward

7th February, 2017 by Arabella Mileham

Northern grocery chain Booths has reported a 4.3% boost to its wine sales following a revamp of its own label last year.

The retailer said there was triple-figure sales uplift for its premium own range Chablis, up 162%, Rioja Reserva, up 147% and Bordeaux Rouge, which rose 46%.

The range was developed by brand design consultancy Smith&+Village, who wanted to beat the “stigma” of putting supermarket own-brand wine on the table at a dinner party and boost sales by stopping customers thinking of Booths’ offering as supermarket wine. The plan was to use Booth’s heritage as a wine merchant to “create the kind of bottle customers would want to display on the dinner table,” Smith &+Village said.

“Whatever supermarkets do to counter it, there is still some stigma in customers’ minds about putting supermarket wine on the table at a dinner party, ’Richard Village of Smith&+Village, explained.

“We’ve got around that by playing on Booths’ heritage as a wine merchant. They have imported wine since 1870 and for the most part work with smaller, independent wine makers who are often family businesses like them. Playing with this and putting the brand mark centre stage on the front of the bottle makes it exude confidence,” he said.

Wine Buyer Victoria Di Muccio said the aim of the branded range was to offer customers a selection of “world class wines from renowned producers” at great value. “We want our wines to over deliver for our customers, and the Christmas sales increases, particularly at the premium end of the range indicate an improved customer perception of wines,” she said.

Di Muccio, who revamped the Spanish and Italian wines last summer , as well as boosting the English wine range, highlighted the close relationship developed with long-standing and new suppliers to develop the blends, pointing to the new Booths Chianti from Alberto Antonini, and Booths’ Rioja Crianza and Reservas which come from from La Rioja Alta S.A. “one of the benchmarks for traditionally produced Rioja”, she noted.

Di Muccio also said there were “ambitious plans to further expand and improve the range further in 2017”. The retailer has previously talked about extending its own-brand wines, which currently number around 30-lines and concentrates on Old World wines, into the New World.

Booths also highlighted its best-performing revamped line, the Booths Finest Vintage Port, from Quinta de la Rosa, which saw a 440% increase in sales after being released as a 50cl bottle, instead of a 75cl bottle. Overall port sales rose 12%, it added.

The retailer also reported strong fizz sales, with Champagne up 28%, craft ales up 29% and artisan gin, growing 30% on last year. The BWS category outperformed its overall sales growth, which rose 1.8%.

One Response to “Booths booze revamp reaps reward”

  1. Simon Tame says:

    Hmmm, interesting about-face by Smith&+Village following their original range-wide design guidelines for Booths in 2012, which insisted on the use of illustration for each line. We were involved in the implementation of these guidelines across all wines and at the time, questioned the restrictive nature of using illustration and proposed the use of the Booths lion crest, original company wording and wine merchant heritage elements as, in our experience we believed these were far more relevant to the wine sector. I recall our proposals were arrogantly dismissed by Smith&+Village, despite dare! having a far superior knowledge of the wine & spirit sector. Looks like the consumer agreed with us after all…

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