Asda has introduced 250 new wines and increased its Extra Special range by 50% in a major revamp of its wine offering.
The radical range review also includes doubling the amount of space devoted to rosé and establishing fine wine sections in 30 stores.
Asda's Master of Wine Philippa Carr said: "We've looked at market conditions - the credit crunch, exchange rate, vintages, trends like rosé . There have been some lines we have taken out
and some gaps that have been filled."
The changes were announced as the retailer celebrated its new position as the fastest growing wine retailer in the UK with 49% year-on-year value growth. Asda's market share has also risen by more than 34% in the
past 12 weeks to occupy 15.5% of the market, according to the latest figures.
The retailer has signalled its long-
term commitment to its three-for-£10 mechanic by creating permanent promotional bays in every store. "Three-for-£10 in this economic climate is
important whe n people are
asking 'how much have I got to spend'," Carr said.
"Customers will always want simplicity
. We've looked at how we can make it
clearer and easier, and even better value."
Shoppers are seeking out occasional treats as the
economic downturn hits, Carr added. The new fine wine sections aim to cater for shoppers wanting wines that cost between £10 and £15, including Moët Hennessy's Green Point sparkling rosé (rrp £11.98), Baron
de Ley Finca Monasterio Rioja 2006 (£14.98) and Hilltop Neszmély's Tokaji Aszú 2001 (£12.48).
Asda's Extra Special range has been increased to 40 wines in an effort to represent all core wine-producing regions and grape varieties. Newcomers include a 2007 Chablis from Domaine de la Levée (£7.98), an Austrian Grüner Veltliner (£6.47), a 2007 Albariño from R ías Baixas (£6.94), a 2006 Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre blend from Vacqueyras AC (£6.98) and a 2007 Fleurie from Boisset (£7.98).
To encourage trial of Extra Special, the supermarket is offering four 25cl bottles for £5 as part of its Tasters initiative.
All wines will be blocked together by country
and a clearer price hierarchy has been introd uced. Carr added that despite the
overhaul, there are still
gaps in Asda's wine offering. She identified South Africa as a
category that is in need of attention.