Thursday, March 26, 2009

In Vino Veritas: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Kicking-Off 20 Percent-Off Six Bottles Or More Wine Promotion This Week; Promotion Runs Until April 25

Promotional Merchandising: Wine Category

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is kicking off a three week deep-discount wine promotion in its stores in California (Southern and Bakersfield), southern Nevada and Metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, in which it's doubling the 10% discount it offers shoppers on purchases of six or more bottles of wine to 20% off.

The 20%-off six bottles or more promotion, which started this week, runs until April 21, 2009, according to Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.

Fresh & Easy started offering 10%-off purchases of six or more bottles of wine in November, 2008, following retailers with stores in California, Nevada and Arizona like Safeway Stores, Raley's, Trader Joe's, Cost-Plus World Market, Target, Beverages & More and others that have been offering 10% -to- 15%-off purchases of six or more bottles of wine for quite some time.

The 20%-off promotion ups the ante in the highly competitive retail wine markets where Fresh & Easy operates its 116 combination grocery and fresh foods markets.

BevMo's five cent wine promotion

But Tesco's Fresh & Easy isn't the only wine retailer promoting aggressively at present. Wine, sprits and beer beverage category killer retailer Beverages & More (BevMo), which has numerous stores in California, Nevada and Arizona, is currently in the midst of its annual "buy one bottle of wine at the regular price get a second bottle of equal value for 5-cents" spring wine promotion.

BevMo conducts this annual promotion in all of its stores, which feature wine, spirits, beers, snacks, specialty-gourmet foods and more, each year starting right before spring and on into the spring season months. It's a very popular promotion and results in a huge volume of wine sales for the retailer. [You can learn more about the BevMo 5-cent wine sale here.] [Related reading: Southern California Market Report: Beverages & More to Join Trader Joe's and Fresh & Easy to Form Manhattan Beach Food and Beverage Retailing Triangle.]

Mix & match at Fresh & Easy

Shoppers can mix and match the six or more bottles of wine -- different varieties, different price-points -- and receive 20% off the total during the Fresh & Easy 20% wine promotion between now and April 25.

Yet another value-based move

The wine promotion is another example of how Tesco's Fresh & Easy is moving closer to the value proposition positioning Fresh & Easy Buzz suggested for the grocery and fresh foods chain about one year ago. [Read more here: March 26, 2009: News, Analysis & Commentary: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Continues Moving Closer to the 'Value Propostion' Positioning; This Time in Prepared Foods Category.] [And here: March 2, 2009: Fresh & Easy Buzz Redux: Much of the Value Proposition-Based Analysis and Suggestions We've Been Offering Now Being Adopted By Tesco's Fresh & Easy.]

Wine category efforts at Fresh & Easy

In October and November of 2008 we reported exclusively on efforts then in progress at Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market to conduct a complete wine category review and SKU rationalization [this story on October 28, 2008: Category Management Report: Fresh & Easy Conducting Wine Category Review and SKU Rationalization; We Offer Some Analysis] and on the grocery chain's new program designed to increase wine category sales through new promotional efforts in its stores in this [November 11, 2008 piece: Wine Category Report: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Kicks Off New Merchandising and Promotional Efforts Designed to Grow Wine Category Sales.]

The 20%-off discount promotion is a direct result of those wine category activities led by Fresh & Easy's wine category manager Karen Fletcher, who came to Fresh & Easy from Tesco in the United Kingdom.

Additional wine category developments are following, including the introduction of a number of new proprietary brand wine varieties by Tesco's Fresh & Easy, with an emphasis on value-priced varieties.

The 'Big Kuhuna'

Fresh & Easy sells a value-based proprietary wine from Australia called the Big Kuhuna for $1.99 a bottle in California and $2.99 in Nevada and Arizona. The wine is similar to Trader Joe's famous "Two Buck Chuck" value wine. Trader Joe's "Two Buck Chuck" is a California wine.

Under the 20%-off six bottles or more promotion, a shopper can get six bottles of Big Kuhuna for under $10. That's a good buy in these recessionary times.

Promotional product in-stock key

As a result, we suspect Fresh & Easy will see some high volume sales in the next three weeks on the Big Kuhuna wines, along with a number of other varieties.

We do hope that unlike was the case when it promoted a dozen red roses for $9.99 for Valentines Day in February, 2009 (a hot price), when it ran out of the roses every day in most of its stores and was out of stock days before Valentines' Day in many of the stores, that the grocer has prepared itself with plenty of wine inventory, particularly the two varieties of Big Kuhuna, so that shoppers aren't let down by out-of-stocks when they go to their neighborhood Fresh & Easy market to cash in on the good value deal being offered in the 20%-off promotion until April 25. [Click on the comments link and read the comments in this piece: The Valentine's Day (Retail Promotional Price) War of the (Dozen Long-Stemmed) Red Roses: And the Winner Is... Tesco's Fresh & Easy.]

If the retailer has plenty of wine inventory (particularly Big Kuhuna), thereby pleasing shoppers rather than alienating them, the promotion will be a positive one in that it should move some significant wine volume, generate new customer trial, and introduce new shoppers to the store's wine departments and selections. If all works, that's a triple-win.

There's no reason after all to let Beverages & More get all the wine action this month and next month in California, Nevada and Arizona with its 5-cent wine sale.

Below is a linked selection of past wine category pieces from Fresh & Easy Buzz:

[Reader Note: You can follow Fresh & Easy Buzz around on at]

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