Promotion rakes in £7 million

12 December, 2008

First Quench makes mark as new face of Thresher

with annual offer succes

s

First Quench Retailing's 40%-off promotional voucher has delivered the group a festive windfall of £7 million - double the amount

the deal netted last year.

The offer, which was circulated online and through print ad s over a two-week period from mid-November,

increased shoppers' average basket price

to £50, with customers splashing out on fine wines and Champagne, according to the company.

It was the third consecutive year First Quench, formerly the Thresher Group, ha d run the deal, which grabbed headlines

in 2006 because consumers believed the vouchers had been sent out by mistake -

pushing up sales

by 60%. Commercial director Lloyd Stephens said this year's promotion had not hit the same level, but that sales were significantly up on 2007.

However, its success meant the company was faced with the challenge of restocking stores which had their shelves stripped of wine.

Stephens added the promotion was part of an aggressive marketing strategy that will see Wine Rack advertised on TV for the first time. From this week, commercials will air on terrestrial and digital channels emphasising a half-price deal across a section of its range.

Stephens said: "We launched the voucher promotion a week earlier than last year and it has really helped us steal a march on the competition. It has been fantastic - a real shot in the arm during the turnaround o f the business."

He admitted

that festive promotions could secure the future of underperforming stores which were at risk of closure.

"We have a programme of opening new stores and we have also closed ones that we couldn't turn around. The overall agenda isn't to reduce the number of stores but we will close stores which

are not strong at shop profit levels. We will try

to save stores to continue to give us scale. Some of the stores which might have been at risk are now getting momentum."




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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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