The Co-operative's BWS boss has radically overhauled the retailer's drinks range
The Co-operative Group’s BWS trading manager, Simon Cairns, has every reason to be in a bullish mood after the retailer increased its share of the wine market from 9.4% to 10% in the past year (Nielsen). It is the first time the Co-op has ever been in double digits and Cairns says this is just the start.
The newly defined overall Co-op strategy is to get the right products into the right stores. The retailer is testing this with BWS, but aims to roll out a similar strategy into wider grocery later this year.
For the first time BWS is being combined as a whole range, and this in itself demonstrates the thinking behind the plan. The convenience shopper is promiscuous and buys according to need that day, rather than embarking on a specific main shop. A key element to success across the alcohol category is the ability to fulfil regional trends, such as cider and local ales, and events. Hence the recent focus on gifts for Mother’s Day and now a link into barbecue season.
Cairns is sharp on the team’s vision for 2016 and conveys not only an engaging optimism, but also real determination. “We know convenience better than anyone. We now need to show authority in this category. We have a duty to keep the high street alive. This is just the start of our journey.”