First Quench Retailing's 40%-off promotional voucher has delivered the group a festive windfall of £7 million - double the amount
the deal netted last year.
The offer, which was circulated online and through print ad s over a two-week period from mid-November,
increased shoppers' average basket price
to £50, with customers splashing out on fine wines and Champagne, according to the company.
It was the third consecutive year First Quench, formerly the Thresher Group, ha d run the deal, which grabbed headlines
in 2006 because consumers believed the vouchers had been sent out by mistake -
pushing up sales
by 60%. Commercial director Lloyd Stephens said this year's promotion had not hit the same level, but that sales were significantly up on 2007.
However, its success meant the company was faced with the challenge of restocking stores which had their shelves stripped of wine.
Stephens added the promotion was part of an aggressive marketing strategy that will see Wine Rack advertised on TV for the first time. From this week, commercials will air on terrestrial and digital channels emphasising a half-price deal across a section of its range.
Stephens said: "We launched the voucher promotion a week earlier than last year and it has really helped us steal a march on the competition. It has been fantastic - a real shot in the arm during the turnaround o f the business."
that festive promotions could secure the future of underperforming stores which were at risk of closure.
"We have a programme of opening new stores and we have also closed ones that we couldn't turn around. The overall agenda isn't to reduce the number of stores but we will close stores which
are not strong at shop profit levels. We will try
to save stores to continue to give us scale. Some of the stores which might have been at risk are now getting momentum."