Blog: Calais looking to trade white vans for wine connoisseurs
Olly Wehring | 22 November 2006
With border trade between Dover and Calais continuing its inexorable slide, some drinks retailers in the French seaside town are going for the ‘class’ factor.
But after a two-day press visit there last week, I stand to question whether the average UK punter is as classy as they would like. One of the wine merchants I visited, Calais Vins, reports to be an exception to the Calais market by posting year-on-year sales gains.
The store has gone for a range of good quality international wines, beers and spirits, ahead of quantity. Another tactic is to educate incoming customers, myself included, by setting up an in-house wine bar, or ‘coin de dégustation’.
Such an approach is a far cry from singlet-wearing Brits loading 99p Hock and 20p beer into white vans in the past, and has worked better than the path taken by the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Auchan - who seem to be languishing somewhere in between.
However, this model relies somewhat on the wine consumer veering towards expert level. And, while a segment of the UK market is certainly heading in this direction, the question of sustainability remains.
Surely it is the maturation of the UK marketplace that will dictate when the day-trippers are ready to swap Calais ‘vans’ for Calais ‘Vins’?
just-drinks is in Berlin this week for Bar Convent Berlin. Here's the second and final part of Andy Morton's blog, which will keep you up-to-date at one of Europe's most important dates in the alcohol...
just-drinks is in Berlin this week for Bar Convent Berlin. Here's the first part of Andy Morton's daily blog, which will keep you up-to-date at one of Europe's most important dates in the alcohol indu...
Responding to criticism on social media is tough. You've got to engage the consumer without starting an argument and - ideally - get them on side....
Want to know how The Coca-Cola Co-backed Keurig Kold - released in the US yesterday - works?...
- Winners & losers of AB InBev's SABMiller takeover
- Can Bacardi take its rum back to the party?
- ABInBev on the verge of SABMiller buy? - Comment
- What Trans-Pacific Partnership means for drinks
- How big is MegaBrew? ABI/SAB market share, brands
- Anheuser-Busch InBev wins SABMiller's hand
- A-B InBev raises SABMiller offer to GBP70.5bn
- Carlsberg UK chief James Lousada quits
- Ketel One co-owner now Bols' largest shareholder
- Beam Suntory CMO to stand down
- The IWSR Duty Free/Travel Retail Summary Report 2015
- Future growth opportunities for global spirits
- Global gin insights - market data, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV - Strategy and SWOT Report