Oddbins: Back on the High Street
By popular demand (and following a re-negotiation of terms with creditors), back comes Oddbins to the high street this week - re-opening its premises in "key locations", which essentially means London, Scotland and various other urban centres in which it would be foolish not to retain a presence. A remarkable turnaround, given the multitude of problems experienced by the retailer only six or seven months ago.
Re-opened, re-branded and re-invigorated; the wine merchant will now exclusively supply a selection of wines currently unavailable in supermarkets - rubber-stamping the intention from new buyer EFB Group to turn focus away from competing on price with those larger stores, and instead provide better quality wines at the optimum price point. The niche-finding (or re-finding) strategy has been identified by EFB as the only viable way in which Oddbins can hope to survive.
The roll-out will be accompanied by a fresh internal design, and an in-store 'price-guessing' challenge, during which customers will have a chance to taste three wines, and then estimate the price at which Oddbins should sell. The intention behind this initiative is to engage in discussion with patrons, and the results of the challenge will be taken into account when it comes to pricing the bottles.
Far be it from me to cast aspersions on the integrity of Oddbins' customers during the challenge, which will take place from the 20th - 23rd of October, but if indeed the results are to be taken seriously - one would imagine that any savvy participant wouldn't stray too far from the national average price - a rather surprising £4.84.
Oddbins claims that it has a strong, loyal customer base, who will be tremendously pleased to see the chain back on their high streets. I suppose we will have to wait and see just how strong that relationship really is, as Oddbins may soon discover that brand loyalty was one of the first casualties of the recession - and that the squeeze on real incomes and rock-bottom consumer confidence has largely divested the public of their price insensitivity.
TrackBack URL: http://www.estatesgazette.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/209904