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Morrisons has vowed to add £100 million to its wine sales in the next three years as part of an aggressive challenge to rivals.

A Colchester-based wine merchant has set up a body that he hopes will bring together independent retailers around the country and give them a united voice.

Lewis: tough year ahead

28 June, 2012

Majestic chief executive Steve Lewis has warned that “next year will be as tough as the one that’s just finished”, despite turning in increased sales, profits and prices. The wine warehouse chain’s pre-tax profit for the 53 weeks to April 2 was up 14.5% to £23.2 million on a sales increase of 8.9% at £280.3 million.

 ruling by magistrates in Leeds could alter the way licensing committees and other courts measure the suitability of garages for drinks licences.

Naked Wines is investing £526,000 to help Marlborough winemaker Mike Paterson set up his own label.

Rhythm & Booze’s new owner believes its plans for the chain could breathe new life into a “tired” high street off-licence sector.

More indies at LIWF

15 June, 2012

The number of independent retailers visiting the London wine fair was up by 12% this year, while the number of visi- tors from off-licences was up 7%, according to organiser Brintex.

Online drinks retailer Slurp is to introduce daily deal promotions in a move it hopes will appeal to supermarket wine shoppers.

Supermarkets need to stop concentrating on deals and discounts and sell wines for their own sake, according to Paul MacKenzie, chief executive of consumer research company The Source.

Oddbins has launched what it says is “the world’s first synchronised wine and music-matching event”.

Adnams has opened a new Cellar & Kitchen shop in Norwich.

Marks & Spencer is introducing 15 wines from six eastern Mediterranean countries.

Online retailer Naked Wines is moving into the US and Australia with low-key retail operations setting up in both countries over the summer.

Specsavers is looking for women in drinks retailing to enter its Everywoman in Retail awards.

A West Midlands wine retailer is hoping to expand with franchised shops.

Ireland’s independent off-licence sector will go out of business in five years, warns the chairwoman of the National Off-Licence Association, unless the Irish government enforces legislation to curb aggressive price promotion and introduces structural segregation of alcohol.

It has emerged that the number of people who lost their jobs in last year’s collapse of Simon Baile’s Oddbins was almost twice that stated by administrator Deloitte at the time.

Bargain Booze joint managing director Matthew Hughes has left the business after owner ECI Partners called off its search for a buyer for the franchise chain.

Bargain Booze owner ECI Partners has called off its search for a buyer for the franchise chain.

Tesco is taking a stand at the London International Wine Fair and is calling on suppliers and producers to come to its wine team with ideas and projects – in what the supermarket is calling a “Dragons Den-style opportunity”.

Online retailer Slurp has launched a French site in what it is calling “an audacious bid to beat the French on their own patch”.

Lincolnshire Police and licensing officers from North Kesteven District Council have seized £6,000 worth of alcohol from an off-licence after it failed a test purchase sting.

Following the success of last year’s initiative, OLN is again working with Wines of South Africa to target leading independents. We are offering two readers the opportunity to win a trip to the Cape Wine fair, taking place in Cape Town from September 25-27. 

Off Licence News is inviting independent readers to register for a £50 bursary to visit the London International Wine Fair in May. 

Ambitious plans for chain

10 April, 2012

Rhythm & Booze could become a nationwide franchise chain after it was bought by Costcutter owner Bibby Retail Services in a pre-pack administration.

Tesco has relaunched its wine case subscription service Tesco Wine Select with six more pre-mixed cases and new deals for subscribers.

Oddbins has seen a surge in sparkling wine sales thanks to the unseasonal sunshine.

Rhythm & Booze has been bought by Bibby Retail Services, the group that owns Costcutter supermarkets, after the chain went into administration this morning (March 29).

Wine Rack has announced it will hold its wine, spirit and Champagne prices until mid-April after the duty hike announced in last week’s Budget.

Majestic’s commercial director Mark Reynolds has died after a battle against cancer. He was 48.