Morrisons joins Tesco in cutting wine range

13 February, 2015

Morrisons has become the second of the big supermarkets to slash its wine range as it cuts slow-selling lines and declutters shelves, OLN has learned.

The retailer will cull 10% of its range, following in the footsteps of Tesco, which will delist 30% of its offering.

Mark Jarman, head of wine operations at Morrisons, told OLN: “In response to customer insight, we are focusing on improving the clarity of our wine offer to make it easier for our shoppers to navigate the fixture.

“This will result in a reduction in SKU numbers of around 10% and will be achieved by removing duplication and poorly performing lines.

“This will ensure we continue to give our customers great choice as well as fantastic value and quality.”

Tesco confirmed it was making even bigger cuts after it employed management consultants to review its range.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Following feedback from customers, we simplified our in store range to make the shopping experience more straightforward.

“As part of this process, we have ensured our most popular wines have more space on the shelves.”

Wine suppliers have warned the cutbacks will have significant ramifications for the trade.

The head of one leading wine firm said: “There is going to be a huge fallout as a result of this.

“I don’t think the wine trade is ready for the colossal changes ahead.

“The fact is, all the grocers are looking at the same model and will probably do the same eventually.

“The discounters have shown that you don’t have to have big ranges to keep consumers happy.”

Another senior figure said: “The days of wallpapering shelves with lots of brands which basically all do the same thing are gone. The grocers have a stated aim of thinning the shelves out, which is welcomed by consumers.

“But it will be difficult for some companies, because if you’re in, then it’s fine, but if you’re out, you’re going to feel it.”

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