Waitrose wine display

Waitrose is testing an online wine site stocking 1,300 lines

Waitrose is launching a new dedicated wine site, just as Morrisons has announced it is merging its online wine shop, Morrisons Cellar, with its new grocery site. 

The new Waitrose Cellar, which went live today, will be curated by Waitrose’s team of Masters of Wine and stock a range of 1,200 still and sparkling wines and spirits.    

The retailer says the new platform, which replaces Waitrose Wine Direct, will provide consumers with its “renowned wine expertise”.

Customers will be able to mix a case of six bottles from the range, with free delivery within three working days, or chose pre-mixed cases, which will change seasonally.

As well as at-a-glance information and tasting notes, the site will include reviews from customers – a first for the retailer – and tasting videos of 150 of Waitrose’s best-selling wines.

A wine finder function will enable shoppers to look for wines easily by grape, country, and region, and the site will also recommend wines to consumers based on previous purchases. A Waitrose cellar team will also be contactable to help consumers select wines or make recommendations.

“We want to bring to life our extended range online and provide a much more engaging experience,” retail director Rob Collins said.

The move comes as Morrisons announced it will amalgamate its Morrisons Cellar wine site with its main Morrisons.com grocery site from June, having launched its online operation in January.

Steve Mosey, category director for BWS, said the move was “the next logical step” to provide its customers with a one-stop shop for all of their online wine and groceries and was part of a move to “continually improve” its wine proposition.

“Our online wine range will continue to provide great quality at key price points thanks to the tremendous strides taken by our new wine sourcing team,” he said. “The Taste Test, which helps guide customers in an approachable way towards wines to suit their personal preferences, will remain core to our online wine offer.”

Morrisons launched Morrisons Cellar in November 2012, doubling its list of wines to over 1,000 and introducing its innovative Taste Test. In October last year, it boosted the offering by reducing the minimum order on a mix-and-match case from 12 to six – matching the offer of Asda’s new online wine shop – and allowing consumers to order single bottles of super-premium wines over £40, instead of ordering a case of 12.

Updated at 15.13 with more information from Waitrose.