Cairns to move Co-op away from discounts

17 May, 2013

The Co-operative Group’s new wine boss plans to move away from discounts and overhaul its own-label range.

Simon Cairns, a former Morrisons buyer who crossed the Pennines to fill the role left by Paul Bastard, said he is relishing the challenge of replacing the industry stalwart.

He told OLN: “There is a great opportunity to provide an interesting and eclectic range that is competitively-priced and well-communicated to our customers.

“As long as customers know what they can expect before they buy, then they will experiment and I believe that an industry-wide solution to help educate customers will move the market away from being so heavily promotion-led. My plans are to enjoy the job and define a wine range that provides for the broad customer needs that our 2,800-plus stores cater for.

“It is also important to use the skill and passion of our buyers to develop a Co-operative own-brand range that we are truly proud of.

“Wine is a luxury item and its purchase is discretionary to most customers. If we fail to excite these shoppers by only providing a ubiquitous range, then the category will suffer and the whole industry will become more homogenised.”




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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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