Somerfield: time of change

Somerfield wine buyer Angela Mount is leaving after 15 years in the job, and the company has not named the wine-buying team to replace her. Mount, who built up Somerfield's wine offering from virtually nothing to a range with a national reputation, will leave in March.

Last year's focus was on the convenience side of drinks retailing, following a relaunch of the wine range in 2005. " It is all about being local and making it easy to shop effectively, and the strategy is to make the experience easier for our customers," Mount sa ys.

That means a lot of stores have seen their ranges reduced "to increase the clarity - effectively we've removed a lot of duplication ." Mount add s: "One of our top priorities is to ensure our availability levels are high and the products are on the shelf at all times ."

Fine wine range The Collection, launched as part of the 2005 revamp, was reviewed in October and cut down by about 30 per cent. "We looked at what was working and what wasn't working so we still have a small selection of more premium wines in those selected stores," sa ys Mount.

Wine makes up 10 per cent of Somerfield's £5 billion turnover. Looking at the wider company, Somerfield sold the Kwik Save format and 171 Kwik Save stores to BTTF-Huddersfield, and announced other Kwik Save stores had been sold to Netto, Aldi and Lidl and the rest would be rebranded as Somerfield.