Asda to put wine advisors in all stores

17 September, 2010

Asda is to roll out its electronic wine advisor machines to its entire estate following a successful trial.

Adrian McKeon, category director for beers, wines and spirits, said the devices – which help consumers make an informed choice about the wine they buy – had led to higher sales in the trial branches, and achieved a shift to more premium wines.

Recent customer research by Asda found that just 13% of customers see the benefit in spending more on alcohol in the pursuit of better quality. The same survey found that 45% of customers would like to be more confident in their wine purchasing.

McKeon said the wine advisor would also appear in international markets. “It’s been so successful that we’ve cut through the Wal-Mart bureaucracy and we’re rolling that out into all stores, and Wal-Mart stores in China and India and some stores in America as well,” he said.

Speaking at this week’s Wine & Spirit Trade Association conference, McKeon said Asda shoppers were maintaining their alcohol spending despite a fall in disposable incomes.

“People are still looking to treat themselves, especially at home,” he said. “The home dining and entertainment concept is one that we think is here to stay.

“The phrase that we’re now using at Asda is that spending has to be justified. A lot of customers still regard a £4 or £5 wine as an everyday treat but they have to be able to justify that spend.”

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