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13/10/2014

Supermarket giant dumps exclusive liquor unit

Supermarket giant Coles has restructured its liquor arm by handing back to its ­category managers the responsibility for its private label wines and ­national wine brands, according to reports in The Australian.

The company has also scrapped its Exclusive Liquor Brands (ELB) unit, which was only established last year to lead the retailer’s push into ­private label wines.

Greg Davis, Coles Liquor boss, is in the midst of a ­review of the struggling division, with analysts keen to hear his strategy to revive the business’ earnings.

The ELB unit was initially created to lift the sale of private label wines within the supermarket’s liquor stores including Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice.

As reported in The Australian, it has now been folded back into the broader liquor business – a strategy which will allow managers to oversee a full range of wines in their portfolio, whether they are owned by Coles or independent businesses.

Coles’ underperforming liquor arms have been described as a “drag on the supermarket business” but the market is expecting its executive team to outline a strategy to lift its performance and be more competitive with Woolworths’ Dan Murphy’s, as well as online retailers and independents such as Vinomofo and Cracka Wines.

This article was originally posted in The Australian by Eli Greenblat on Saturday 11 October 2014.


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