2012 December

Christmas trading has been described as “not exceptional” by trade association the British Retail Consortium.

Alcohol and tobacco retailers in North East Lincolnshire have been praised by enforcement agencies for a dramatic improvement in preventing under-age sales.

William Grant is to cask every drop of whisky distilled today to create a limited edition “Christmas spirit” of the future.

Seven men who conspired to illegally import 9 million cigarettes have been jailed following an HM Revenue & Customs investigation.

Chilean winery Viña Undurraga has appointed Gonzalez Byass as its exclusive UK distributor.

James Murray, the director of the London International Wine Trade Fair, is stepping down to explore "new horizons".

Thierry's has been placed into administration.

Virgin Wines said it achieved record sales of £2.16 million in the past seven days as thirsty customers snapped up 31,500 cases ahead of Christmas.

Rugby fans can win £5,000 by showing off their rugby skills in front of 80,000 fans at Twickenham in a promotion run by Greene King.

New Zealand Winegrowers has announced Chris Stroud will succeed David Cox as the body's UK and European marketing manager.

Carlsberg UK has appointed James Lousada as sales director.

Westons website given facelift

18 December, 2012

Westons has overhauled its website in a bid to offer cider drinkers “an elegant and user friendly experience”.

The Glenfiddich distillery is marking the single malt’s 125th anniversary with a Christmas tree made of whisky bottles.

The Beer Academy sommeliers held their first annual reunion at the Parcels Yard at Kings Cross Station this week.

Champagne sales will be flat in 2013, according to an expert from the Reims Management School.

Government plans to slap a 45p minimum unit price on alcohol will cost drinkers an extra £659million per year and almost half will come from the poorest households, new research has claimed.

F E Barber has announced plans to close Stratford’s Wine Agency’s Cookham office after it bought out the firm in September.

In the latest of our series celebrating the best in British bottled beer we explore some of the essentials to get your staff talking to customers with knowledge and confidence.

Budvar eyes UK expansion

14 December, 2012

Budvar plans to grow its UK off-trade business by 40% in 2013 with the help of a new £3 million canning factory in the Czech Republic.

John Smith’s ale is ending its nine-year sponsorship of the Grand National after next year’s race.

A £10 million investment programme at Aston Manor cider has brought extra production capacity and doubled staff numbers.

A shop billing itself as “the best wine retailer in the world” has been opened in London’s West End by the founder of Russia’s largest mobile phone retailer.

Asda opts out of price pact

14 December, 2012

Asda has refused to sign up to a protocol adopted by other major supermarkets which could restrict controversial half-price deals on wine.

Morrisons is in the final stages of recruiting a new head for its wine team as it steps up its presence in the category.

Accolade Wines’ UK boss has outlined his vision for the company as he prepares to implement a raft of changes across the business.

The drinks trade will soldier on doggedly through increasingly hostile market conditions in 2013, according to an exclusive OLN survey of hundreds of drinks retailers.

Tesco’s new category director for beers and spirits has vowed to move away from heavy discounting and try to reconnect with jaded shoppers through a greater range of new products.

Former Oddbins owner Simon Baile has been forced to close a number of stores in his Excellar chain and is looking to restructure its ownership.

Hundreds of volunteer police cadets carried out undercover test purchase stings at off-licences across London as part of a crackdown on the trade called Operation Condor.

Moët & Chandon is releasing a limited-edition gift pack called Declare Your Love to capitalise on the Valentine’s Day market.