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Supplier Supported Deals August 2020

The latest offer to lighten my wallet is here:

https://www.thewinesociety.com/searchProducts.aspx?q=&hPP=15&idx=products&p=0&dFR[Lists][0]=Supplier-supported%20deals&is_v=1

I’ve picked up cases of the following:

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Some interesting wines here, but all the discounts are only for cases. This happens much too often on TWS offers. I like to drink a variety of wines, so these offers are useless for me.

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Go on then enlighten me, what is a “supplier supported deal?”

If it’s a discount for volume… then the obvious question: why is the supplier so keen to shift stock at a discount, and what’s wrong with it? And of course TWS buy in volume in any way so why are TWS not passing on the case discount price when sold by the bottle?

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Usually supplier supported deals are those where the supplier chooses to take a decrease in their margin. A very common occurrence though not necessarily one that is advertised as such (often supermarket deals at Christmas are on this basis). The drivers can be quite wide ranging including seeking market shares, moving on slower moving stock when a new vintage is due or where the market is not very active - this may well be the case at present (but there are many other rationales).

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This is under £10 per bottle after the case discount. Tempting…

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I agree with this view to a certain extent. I’m definitely more drawn to cases of 6 rather than a case of 12. Infinitely more manageable.

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There are a number of 6 bottle cases in the offer as well.

However I’m with you in that I rarely buy cases (with the exception of EP but that’s a whole other story!). However I fully accept that sometimes savings might only be offered for cases. In fact I’m a little surprised that TWS cases are generally not on a discount compared with singles. Which suggests to me that as normally we are being offered singles at the case price (I try to be a glass half full sort of person).

Oh yeah, I’m not really having a go at the Society and I understand why, if the discount is coming from the supplier, it might be agreed to be on a case basis in order to drive volume sales.

It is just that generally I do prefer the format of 6 bottle cases whereas I do find 12 bottle cases unwieldy in relation to my drinking habits.

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Totally agree - 12 bottles is a lot to drink, so needs to be something i both love and know will last for 4 to 5 years at least.

Good format for weddings i guess!

I have bought cases twice before at a discounted price. Both wines were excellent…however, I had tried them before. The WS Corbieres 2017 was offered at the beginning of this year and it is excellent. I agree that 12 bottles might be a lot if it’s not a wine you are happy drinking regularly. Split it with a friend? 6 bottle cases that would mean just 3 bottles each.

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I have bought the St Joseph le Grand Pompee (12) and the Contucci Vino Nobile ( 6) because of the good value they represent. That said I could have ordered more but resisted. Well done TWS for teasing out these wine buys !

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I thought the opening paragraph of the email was very interesting

We have been in close contact with the dedicated growers with whom we work during the past few months, keen to help them through this difficult time. Over the next few weeks, you will begin to see some of the results. We hope that you’ll be able to support them, and enjoy some lovely wines at great prices.

I’m interested to know what other deals are on their way. I need even more reasons to part with my money at the moment.

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Pierre Mansour has mentioned that the Society is planning a September offer - ‘Backing our Best Growers 2020’.

I think that this will be a significant promotion, and that members will back it in droves. The overwhelming response to the Lebanon offer underlines the incredible commitment of members to the Society and its producers, and I feel deeply that we will see the same again here.

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That’s interesting two deals back to back, I wonder how they differ in wines and discount. Have to wait and see.

Sounds like good cooperative values in action!

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I am also tempted by @Jcmwooldridge choices of the Jaboulet wines above.

The Crozes 2014 appears to have mixed reviews and there are none for the SJ 2017. Both are vintages around notionally better years so interested to see whether they are good anyway.

:question: Have any of you been able to try these?

I do hope it is ‘good co-operative values in action’. But I have some misgivings about ‘supplier supported deals’ which maybe the WS could reassure us on. Often it means either that the producer’s regular price is excessive, or that the volume purchaser is exploiting their power. Or it’s a euphemism to disguise one of those deals beloved of the supermarkets and chains where a discount period is factored into the regular price. The regrettable consequence of these is that the wines are poor value unless they’re on offer - I hardly ever buy anything from Maj****c which isn’t on a deal. As a goal of the Society is to encourage members to expand their wine horizons, it would be a great shame to see it led down this road by the new leadership with their for-profit retail backgrounds. It’s wonderful to be able to roam around the Society list knowing that whatever bottle you choose, it should always offer good value and represent a fair price for the producer.

Of course this ‘Backing our best growers 2020’ campaign may simply be, as Mr Mansour implies, an exceptional way of helping keep producers who are desperate for revenue whatever the margin, because of the pandemic, afloat. And hopefully the discounts are carefully calibrated to drive up volume without exploiting them. Certainly it’s great to hear the Society is helping their cash flow by paying early - co-operative values in action!

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I do think you answered your own misgivings in the final paragraph. Perhaps producers are struggling to sell their wines in this given climate so they are happy to discount in order to receive much needed cash flow and are happy to do this with TWS because of the positive relationship they have with TWS.

Those same producers may be willing to lower their price for their most valued customers.

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I agree with @Winestwit, also, its good to remember that supermarkets can be absolutely ruthless with their suppliers imposing fines etc for simple failings such as not delivering the allocated number of bottles due to a lower production that year, stock not arriving at allocated dates among other reasons and can impose “supplier supported discounts” on their supplier with a threat of discontinuation.
The comparisons between tws and supermarkets are worlds apart.

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Must confess to not once considering how supermarket discounting affects suppliers. Was feeling clever for bagging a few things by stacking discounts and throwing in a voucher. Got some Perrin Sinards 2017 for 13 quid and some Guigal cote du Rhone 2016 for 7 pounds. Now there is some nagging guilt too. What should one do?
Stop buying supermarket wine?
Only buy at full price?
Perrin and Guigal are big boys so I’m assuming they can take the odd hit for volume sales. So only buy big boys in supermarkets? (A sentence I didn’t expect to ever write).

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