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Penfolds owner offers cut-price fridges to shift stock

The owner of Penfolds, under-pressure Treasury Wine Estates, has been seeking to clear space for the new vintage of the brand's luxury wines by offering a promotion on existing stocks.

Treasury has this month been offering a cut-price Vintec wine fridge to consumers who buy one six-bottle case of its Penfolds luxury and icon wines.

Although only available to Australia-based consumers, a spokesperson for Treasury said the move reflected the firm’s desire to ‘pull through inventory’ as quickly as possible.

As previously announced, Treasury has brought the release of its Penfolds 2010 vintage forward by around seven months, to October this year, in order to boost the company’s flagging sales.

But, it only released the 2009 vintage range of Penfolds luxury and icon wines, including Grange, in May.

‘We’ve been working with retailers over the last two months to ensure that we can pull the current release through and move it out of people’s warehouses and into consumer’s cellars and stomachs,’ said Treasury’s chief executive, Michael Clarke. ‘So that we actually clear the way for the release in October of the next vintage.’

The firm is under pressure to improve sales and profits under Clarke, who took the job earlier this year and must use results to justify why the firm recently rejected a A$3bn takeover offer from private equity firm KKR.

Neither Treasury nor Vintec would confirm how many fridges are being offered in the current promotion, but Australian media has said it is around 12,000.

Consumers have until the end of this month to buy their cases, but can wait until 29 August to claim their fridge for an extra fee of A$255, including $55 delivery fee. Treasury said the Vintec fridges are valued at A$650.

Written by Chris Mercer

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