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Oddbins customers set their own price

Oddbins has published the results of a survey in which it asked its customers to set their own price for three wines tasted blind.

Yering Station Chardonnay: customers chose price

Oddbins carried out blind tastings of three wines in its 37 branches across the UK and promised to put the bottles on its shelves at whatever price consumers chose.

In a statement Oddbins said, ‘In what is believed to be the largest blind-tasting ever carried out across the UK, over 3,000 consumers said they would be happy to pay £8.00 for a bottle of wine, despite having the chance to buy it for a penny.’

According to the store, 40% of the customers who took part in the survey were new to the store.

Customers were asked to value three wines which were due to be listed by Oddbins: Leyda Sauvignon Blanc, Yering Station Chardonnay and Valgrays Garnacha. The wines were tasted fully blind, with no indication of region or grape variety.

When the customer prices were averaged out the resulting prices were £7.93, £8.52 and £8.48 respectively. Oddbins will round up these figures and put the wines on sale at £8 for the Leyda and £8.50 for the others. It had been intending to price them at just over £9, it said.

Managing director Ayo Akintola said, ‘The common perception is that that UK wine drinkers are only concerned with price, something we have never believed and this result has disproved. The CRP (customer recommended price) was very close to our original pricing for the three bottles which demonstrates Oddbins commitment to value.’

Wine critic Robert Joseph, whose company Do I Like It? runs client surveys across the wine industry, and who did the Oddbins survey as a customer, said he thought it was ‘an interesting exercise’.

‘It’s good to see a shop putting the customer first in that way – it would be nice to see Majestic doing the same thing. It’s a good first step.’

However he suggested the survey probably wasn’t statistically watertight in terms of its questions, as ‘most people doing it would know that £8 was a safe price to choose for Oddbins. If you did the same survey in Berry Bros, the average would probably come out at £12.’

Last week saw the rollout of 37 new Oddbins stores across the UK. They were acquired in April this year by the European Food Brokers (EFB) Group.

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Written by Adam Lechmere

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