Thoughts on a possible merger
Published:  11 January, 2008

Are Threshers and Oddbins to merge? It is still being denied, but what might be the implications from a shopper's perspective?

Oddbins attracts a slightly younger customer profile than Threshers (28 per cent are under the age of 24, compared with 16 per cent at Threshers) and more upmarket (AB social classification) shoppers, too - so suppliers should enjoy having range conversations with the new company based on shopper demographics and, more importantly, missions or need-states.

But Threshers has more loyal customers. 

Threshers shoppers visit Threshers twice a week, Oddbins shoppers visit Oddbins once a week.  

Threshers shoppers buy 40 per cent of their total alcohol purchases from Threshers, Oddbins shoppers buy only 25 per cent of their needs from Oddbins.  

Eighty-three per cent of Threshers shoppers say the Threshers store is their main off-licence - it's only 45 per cent at Oddbins.

Forty-two per cent of Threshers shoppers' missions are "regular buy here" versus only 25 per cent at Oddbins , which has far more "distress" shoppers.

So Threshers

would have an opportunity - actually a need - to gain trust and loyalty from existing Oddbins shoppers. Crucial to achieving this is an understanding of what's important to Oddbins shoppers.

Improving the customer experience will obviously be high on the agenda for the newly formed business. Moment-of-truth customer feedback from Oddbins shoppers earlier this year revealed shoppers found the stores relatively easy to shop, but speed of service, promotions, range, staff product knowledge and product availability ratings were all lower than the industry average.

Tom Fender

HIM

Editor's note: Oddbins owner Castel and Thresher Group owner Vision Capital have denied that they discussed mergers or takeovers at their meeting last year. The meeting was held to discuss ideas and concepts for the UK marketplace, the companies said.

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