UK brews in Costcutter locals

07 March, 2008

Convenience chain's retailers 'perfectly placed' to push community ales

Costcutter hopes to stock beers from every

UK brewery

in its local shops.

The convenience chain has set up a number of deals with brewers

and is in talks with the Society of Independent Brewers over joining its Direct Delivery Scheme, trading manager Steve McCann told OLN.

"There is a fantastic opportunity for retailers in this sector to really get in with their local consumer and give them something

they can't get

in the multiples or the normal supermarket environment," he said.

"There are

more than 300 regional and microbreweries

across the UK, and there is no way any of the multiple groups is going to want to handle that number of different ales. Our retailers are perfectly positioned to capitalise on that.

"They are in the community, next to the pubs some of these regional and microbreweries are already serving. What is wrong with the local consumer being able to buy the same beer

he consumes in his local pub?"

Costcutter is also launching a premium wine collection this month, with prices ranging from 8-20 for still wines and up to 50 for Champagnes.

The range is mainly European and is dominated by France, with wines including a Gevrey-Chambertin at 18.99, a Chablis Premier Cru at 13 and a St-Emilion at 19. It has already done well in trials in six shops

and will now be rolled out across the country.

McCann said: "This will allow us to compete in the 5-8 price point, which is the biggest growth area, but also allow us to really step people's price points up and give them products for every occasion ."

Costcutter is currently reviewing the way it lays out its beer section to make sure brands and categories that are driving growth are getting enough space. Wine and spirits range reviews are to follow later this year.

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