The Co-op is working for ME

Anyone would think that the “cooperative food” buyers, planners and local shop-keepers have been working just to bring me some great wines and decent prices.

My local co-operative food shop was recently refurbished. It was originally a conversion of an old petrol station (I believe) and it was truly in need of some upgrading. It served for milk & urgent necessities, but not much else.

Clearance wines? Not in my book

Clearance wines? Not in my book

Then late last year they shut down for a couple of weeks for refubishment. I was happy, but didn’t expect much. However, I was amazed at the result – with new fridges and chill-cabinets, stacks of much better quality produce, greater choices, better arrangement and more. The biggest shock, however, was the MASSIVE increase in the wine range – with ALL white wines in chilled cabinet along one wall. Wow!

That was amazing enough, … but the latest development is more stunning, more personal, and potentially a little worrying.

The new wine range was so much more interesting than before, and covered a great many more price points (i.e. more expensive wines). It include some TOP names at prices above £20 a bottle – not what you would expect in your local corner shop. The co-op was making a statement here.

As I popped in tonight, for the usual “emergency milk purchase”, I spotted that some wines were on “Clearance”. I didn’t much notice until I suddenly recognised some labels and was surprised enough to have to dig out the mobile to double check the prices on wine-searcher. This is what I picked up tonight (the regular price is closest match I could find in retail, not what they were originally in the Co-op as these were already good value):

  • Skillogalee Basket Pressed Shiraz, 2010 – £17 £12.79 (25% discount)
  • Pago de los Capellanes Crianza, 2009 – £23.45 14.81 (37% discount)
  • Villa Annaberta, Amarone della Valpolicella, 2010 £36.00* 14.20 (61% discount)

* this was for the previous vintage, which won awards, so possibly higher priced.

The great news is that my local co-op has interesting wines, that sell slowly and might end up being offered at lower margin to clear stock.

The bad news is that they may therefore stop stocking interesting wines altogether.

I shall be going back to investigate the other lines tomorrow (hope you guys haven’t cleared the shelves by then)

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