Sainsbury's to beef up its budget wines

28 August, 2008

Supermarket commits to more wines under £4 and over £7 in range overhaul

Sainsbury's is reviewing its range to give shoppers more choice below £4.

Despite boasting

an average bottle price of £4.22 - higher

than closest rivals Tesco and Asda at

£4 and £3.70 respectively

- the retailer says its shoppers want

cheaper wines as the credit crunch hits.

Sai nsbury's added

a poll of its customers

also identified an appetite for

£7 -£10 wines as

drinkers seek out occasional treats.

BWS category manager

Warren Anderson

said the results would lead to a cull of poor sellers

to beef up

the two price brackets where it is


"Our research tells us

people are watching how much they are spending. Customers are looking at sub-£4

wines where we are seeing a significant pick-up .

"We have too many wines in too confined a price bracket of

£5-£7, so we want to broaden the retail window.

A number of products in the range

aren't fulfilling the need of the customer.

"We have too much range in non-growth areas so we want to flatten our profile slightly.

Wines priced over £7 are a small part of our sales, but they're in good growth.

"It's about profitability and retail discipline - we have to reflect what our customers are buying. We may well take out ranges that are underperforming but it's not an 'out' only exercise.

"We will replace the lines [we remove] but they must be proven wines."

But suppliers have voiced concerns that any reduction to the mid £5-£7 tier would send out negative messages to consumers.

One said: "Sainsbury's is effectively saying

you don't have to pay more than £4 for a decent bottle of wine, which goes against our view of getting consumers to trade up."

But Brand Phoenix director Steve Barton backed the decision. "With all the current pressures on price because of duty, freight

and currency issues, the easiest thing suppliers could do is price their wine between £5 and £6, but you've got to concentrate on consumers. The reality is that £4 is where the action lies."

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