Waitrose: concentrating on diversity

26 January, 2007

Justin Howard-Sneyd MW stepped into the newly-created role of manager of wine-buying last August to drive the development of Waitrose's wine strategy.

To take some of the pressure off Howard-Sneyd, Andrew Shaw, a former buyer at wine merchant Stone, Vine & Sun, joined the buying team in January 2007 to work alongside Dee Blackstock MW and Nick Room.

Shaw will be responsible for wines from South Africa, Bordeaux, Germany and Italy, while Howard-Sneyd will stay in charge of buying from the Rhône Valley, south of France and England.

Wine buying head Mark Williamson says: "Andrew is an excellent buyer with a proven track record of sourcing fabulous wines from quality-minded producers. He has been instrumental in the success of Stone, Vine & Sun, wh ich has won a number of awards for the quality of its range and the authority of its wine list."

Waitrose will concentrate on stocking a diverse range of wines this coming year, including English wines.

Last year the store began a revamp of its English wine range with each store ­stocking up to eight English wines from nearby vineyards and from established ­produ­cers such as Chapel Down and Nyetimber. As a result, 26 per cent of English wine off-trade sales go through Waitrose.

The supermarket chain also added six former Morrisons stores and a regional distribution centre to its business, following on from its recent expansion into Scotland.

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