Supply chain manager Andrew Coe acknowledges that collaboration wasn't a word it knew a few years ago: "We were arrogant, but we've moved on since then."
Sainsbury grew market share in the beers, wines and spirits category and aims to build on that this Christmas by working with suppliers ­ with both parties focusing on the consumer.
"We'll communicate daily and push stock through the supply chain early so we get stock into stores before the peak time," he says. Coe says it's easy to get fantastic availability, but sitting on 20 weeks worth of Malibu in January can be expensive. "However last year, we left January much cleaner in terms of excess stock."
Helen Simpson, customer logistics manager at Allied Domecq spirits and wine, will work with Sainsbury by sharing information. She says: "It's key for us to get Christmas right as our brands are very Christmas oriented."