Tesco will reduce its wine range by ‘less than 10%’ while simplifying it and cutting down on duplication of styles and varietals like Chardonnay.

In what he describes as ‘the most detailed piece of ranging work I’ve ever seen,’ Mark Murphy, head of beers, wines and spirits at the giant retailer, aims to target areas that have are ‘flabby’ and make sure the range is more ‘focussed.’

‘The range has got flabby in certain sectors around the £4-5 wines,’ he told UK trade newspaper Off Licence News. ‘We just think there’s a lot of duplication and we want to bring more clarity to the consumer.’

Stung by reports that it is ‘dumbing down’ its range by simplifying it and making it easier for customers to understand, Tesco remains tight-lipped as to which lines will be cut, or how the 800-odd wines it currently carries will be reduced, beyond saying it will be ‘less than 10%’.

‘We are constantly reviewing the range with the aim of improving its breadth,’ a spokesperson told decanter.com. ‘There will be some marginal reduction – certainly less than 10% in total numbers. But it could mean the range is improved in certain areas.’

Murphy also told OLN that lines that are needlessly duplicated would be cut: ‘Why do we need 17 Australian Chardonnays when the market is driving more towards Riesling and Sauvignon?’

Again, neither Murphy nor Tesco will comment on how the cuts will be effected, though he does hint that Italy and Argentina, and Australia and France, will do well out of the review.

Other new measures include taking in all wine in 6-bottle cases. This will free up shelf space for more lines, according to the spokesperson.

Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, unveiled record profits of £2.03bn in April this year.

Written by Adam Lechmere