Wine sales uplift at Waitrose concept shop

01 August, 2007

Waitrose’s new concept shop in Marylebone has enjoyed double-digit wine sales growth following a refit – the first of many planned for London.

Beers, wines and spirits are now sited in the middle of the supermarket, which opened on June 1 following a redesign informed by research on London shopper behaviour.

Top-end fine wines are displayed in stand-alone cylindrical racks on the shop floor – one for New World and another for European wines – with listings including Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 1993 Pessac-Léognan at £55 and Eileen Hardy Shiraz 1999 at £45.99. The move boosted fine wine value sales by 65 per cent in the second week and 71 per cent in the third week after opening.

“Bringing the fine wine forward to customers has had a big impact,” a spokeswoman said.

The store has also enjoyed double-digit growth in total wine sales – ranging between 12 per cent and 30 per cent growth year-on-year each week since re-opening. The new BWS area also includes two maps of French wine regions etched on to the display racks.

Marylebone’s cider selection has been tripled, and the space devoted to rosé wine doubled, while the fish counter will display a daily wine and fish matching recommendation.

The shop was redesigned following a two-year project researching the in-store behaviour of London shoppers. Waitrose plans to refit many of its London branches along similar lines, with Finchley Road the next on its list.

The layout of Waitrose stores outside London may also be tweaked once information on shopper behaviour at the concept stores is gathered, the spokeswoman said. A Waitrose Food Hall is also set to open within the John Lewis department store on Oxford Street this autumn.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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