Another blow for Sainsbury's drinks team as Hirshfeld quits

11 January, 2008

Specialist in French and South American wines moves back to Direct Wines

Abigail Hirshfeld is the latest buyer to leave the Sainsbury's team after being recruited for an international role at former employer Direct Wines.

Hirshfeld, who had established a reputation for French wine during her two-year stint at the multiple, also had responsibility for South America,

Champagne and sparkling wine.

Her role at Direct Wines will involve working alongside the buying team, ensuring wine ranges meet the needs of customers in international markets. She starts on Feb 1.

Sainsbury's said a replacement would be appointed and, in the meantime, ­Hirshfeld's duties would be covered by category range planner Melissa Draycott.

Fiona Bayley, previously Sainsbury's buyer for beer and spirits before being moved to a role in the detergents category last year, is also leaving the business. She joins delivered wholesaler Palmer & ­Harvey on Jan 21 as beers, wines and spirits buyer, replacing Ian Dobson who has been promoted to a trade sector management role.

OLN understands that P&H is planning to phase out the Winerite trading name after completing the integration of the Leeds-based drinks wholesaler into its national network of ambient depots.

The move is designed to increase efficiency and provide P&H's customers with easier access to its alcoholic drinks range.




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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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