Asda 10% wine online plan 'very ambitious', says drinks source

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Asda has revealed ambitious plans to sell 10% of its wine online within two years.

The retailer unveiled its first e-commerce site, Wine Shop, this week, which it said would give customers greater flexibility and choice by allowing them to pick and mix six-bottle cases from more than 500 lines including 200 available exclusively online.

To encourage trial, it is offering free delivery on all orders until the end of the year, a free next-day click & collect service, and is giving shoppers 10% off their first orders.

However, a senior drinks industry source told The Grocer that Asda’s plans to grow online sales to 10% were “very ambitious” and that success would to depend on whether the offer and merchandising were attractive enough to encourage its shoppers to change the way they bought wine.

“Ten per cent will be a challenge and to reach that, the offer will need to be very differentiated, given the quality of the offer out there,” he said.

Majestic, which reported annual e-commerce sales up 14.7% in June, had taken 12 years to grow its online sales to 11%, he added.

Although Morrisons has not revealed sales figures for its wine retailing website Morrisons Cellar, which launched a year ago, wine category manager Andrew Turner said its performance had exceeded targets, with more than 50,000 orders to date and 30% of customers going on to make a repeat purchase.

Following the launch of Asda Wine Shop this week, Morrisons reduced the minimum order on its own mix-and-match wine cases from 12 to six bottles in line with its rival’s offer. Morrisons said the launch of Mix Your Own Six was part of an “ongoing development”. It will also now allow shoppers to order single bottles of super-premium wines priced more than £40, where previously they had to order a case of 12.

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