Simon Cairns, a former Morrisons buyer who crossed the Pennines to fill the role left by Paul Bastard, said he is relishing the challenge of replacing the industry stalwart.
He told OLN: “There is a great opportunity to provide an interesting and eclectic range that is competitively-priced and well-communicated to our customers.
“As long as customers know what they can expect before they buy, then they will experiment and I believe that an industry-wide solution to help educate customers will move the market away from being so heavily promotion-led. My plans are to enjoy the job and define a wine range that provides for the broad customer needs that our 2,800-plus stores cater for.
“It is also important to use the skill and passion of our buyers to develop a Co-operative own-brand range that we are truly proud of.
“Wine is a luxury item and its purchase is discretionary to most customers. If we fail to excite these shoppers by only providing a ubiquitous range, then the category will suffer and the whole industry will become more homogenised.”