A Lidl more luxury? Supermarket begins “Claret offensive”

A “Claret offensive” sounds very much like the title of a gory scene from an Anthony Burgess novel, but it is actually the term which budget supermarket Lidl has deployed to describe its latest sales tactic.

In a bid to win over more customers to the joys of low-cost shopping, the German discount grocer is launching a range of 48 high quality French wines September, sourced from some of its leading Chateaux.

The company’s wine buyers have stockpiled more than a million bottles from France’s key growing areas, and the firm says they will go on sale for as much as a third less than similar wines in Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Prices will range from £4.99 for a white Cote de Gascogne, up to £25.99 for a red 2008 vintage Haut-Médoc Sociando-Mallet.

The move, which is a £12m gamble for Lidl, will see the budget chain pushing into unchartered territory where it will take on the UK’s largest supermarkets.

Ben Hulme, senior buying manager for wines at Lidl, who led the selection of the 48 wines said: “Our choice offers extraordinary value for money for some of the best wines in the world. Our pricing is transparent and open, unlike a lot of the permanent ‘offers’ on the High Street.

“If a few years ago we had stocked a St-Emilion Grand Cru we would only have sold about one a month and it wouldn’t have worked.

“But internally we feel massively confident about it now. We want to be aiming at people who have not considered us before. The message is ‘come and a give it a try. Pick up a few bottles and see if you like them’.”

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