Big deals emerge for bank holiday weekend

The brief lull in discounting didn’t last long. Both M&S and Sainsbury’s have introduced deals offering a 25% discount on any wine purchases of six bottles or more. And Tesco has started some good deals on line, as predicted all in time for the bank holiday weekend. ASDA’s current best deal is also on line where its wine shop has GH Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut at just £20 a bottle. But it’s cheaper still at Sainsbury’s currently.

At Sainsbury’s if you add the 25% discount to the current deals there are two champagnes at under £10 a bottle while at the other end of the non-vintage market, Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé comes down to a pretty reasonable £36 a bottle. Compare that with the current Majestic single bottle price for the same wine of £75. And GH Mumm, very decent fizz these days, can be bought for just £17.63 a bottle if you buy six bottles of wine or more (doesn’t all have to be champagne). See latest retail offers page.

High pricing flatters discounts offered at Majestic

There is some weird pricing on champagne going on at Majestic and has been for quite a while. Who in their right mind would buy Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé for £75 a bottle, but that is now their full price for this wine. They have the same house’s prestige cuvée Grand Siècle, on superb form last time I tasted it, selling for the same amount. Veuve Clicquot Rosé was down £10 at £50 a bottle last week. Bad luck if you bought it then, now it has dropped to £39.97 if you buy two bottles.

The non-vintage cuvées of top rated houses Bollinger and Pol Roger now appear to be ‘valued’ by Majestic above that of Louis Roederer priced at £50 versus £45. All are regularly discounted to the late £30s, closer to their ‘real’ retail price, but make sure you buy them when they are in the lowest cycle, which has just ended for Pol and Bolly.

Because they have bumped their nominal full retail prices up so high, a 25% discount is hardly worth bothering with so we’ve only listed the 33.3% discounts now on our retail offers page. To give an example of how the high pricing makes large discounts look much more attractive than they really are, I’d take the example of Laurent-Perrier Rosé again. Until 29 April it was listed under a ‘buy two save £30 banner’ which sounds good. But in reality that just bought the price down from an inflated £75 to a still steep £60 a bottle. Surely Majestic’s champagne consumers aren’t dumb enough to fall for this?


Interview: Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt of Laurent-Perrier

Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt with Laurent-Perrier’s head winemaker Michel Fauconnier

The Drinks Business November 2012:

Devoted sisters: Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt talks about how she and her sister Stephanie were handed the reins of the Laurent-Perrier business when her father Bernard died in 2010.

She explains that although their commitment to the business was questioned and there were rumours the company was up for sale, that was never really an option for the two sisters. They were only too aware of their father’s strong desire for them to take over at the helm working together to guide the business.

Read the full interview here.