More than 200 Somerfield stores have been converted since the Co-op acquired the multiple last year and these now stock its wine range. The remaining 600 are running down stocks and will be converted by 2011.
The Co-op is continuing to focus on its Fairtrade offering and has introduced a South African Cape sparkling rosé to its range. Vicky Wood, category marketing manager for wine, said there will be a minimum of six Fairtrade wines in every store, giving “more opportunities for Fairtrade, making more of a difference”.
She said research was being conducted to identify high-end stores and improve their fine wine offering.
“It’s not just about where they are located or how big they are – we’re looking at the whole demographic around the shops. It’s taking a bit of time to pull together the data so it’s difficult to know when it’s going to happen,” she said.
The Co-op is planning to list just one branded wine from the old Somerfield portfolio when integration of the two chains’ ranges is completed in August.
Wood said where own-brand products were duplicated, suppliers were given the opportunity to pitch for the business. She added that the new, larger business would be offering a wider range and broader supply base.
But one supplier said there had been an inevitable fallout after the merger and predicted it would happen again following the acquisition of Netto by Asda.
Wine development manager Paul Bastard confirmed the only wine to come from Somerfield’s 360 wines was a Sancerre from Fouassier.