Accolade Wines increases distribution in convenience with epoints

Accolade Wines, the UK’s largest wine company, has seen an increase of up to 13% in distribution rates of selected SKUs having joined forces with epoints in 2016. epoints is the universal loyalty scheme adopted by major brands to reward convenience retailers for meeting set criteria such as stocking the core range or meeting brand compliance. Retailers are rewarded by multiple brands with the epoints currency, which can be spent on a choice of millions of rewards.

Thomas Joyce-Brown, senior customer marketing manager for Accolade Wines, commented: “Despite being the largest wine company in the UK with a market leading share of the convenience channel, there is still work to be done on maximising the distribution of our portfolio across this sector of the trade. This is vital to the long term growth of the business and by joining with epoints, we can better influence the purchasing decisions of retailers by rewarding them for meeting set criteria.”

In their initial three month period, Accolade Wines offered hundreds of selected Today’s Group retailers epoints for stocking Anakena Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc as well as Hardys VR Chardonnay and subsequently other varietals. Stores stocking all three Anakena wines increased by 13% and stores stocking one or more of the selected Anakena wines increased by 7%. Distribution for Hardys VR Chardonnay increased by 3.5%. Tens of thousands of epoints were awarded to participating stores, worth hundreds of pounds.

Mark Biscoe, commercial director of epoints, said: “With epoints, Accolade Wines could choose their own reward criteria aligned with its overall business objectives. Buy-in from retailers was ensured as epoints tackles the two key challenges with reward scheme engagement: difficulty accruing value and limited rewards. With epoints, retailers can quickly collect a single rewards currency across the multiple major brands that have adopted the scheme. Retailers can also choose their own rewards.”

epoints rewards are determined during syndicated store visits by field marketing staff, from the award winning company REL Field Marketing, on behalf of epoints every six weeks. Accolade Wines’ SKU distribution levels and positioning was monitored according to reward criteria. As epoints is a syndicated reward scheme, field sales costs were significantly lower than a dedicated sales team would have been.

Continuing, Joyce-Brown adds: “With the epoints syndicated field visits, we have access to a huge database of retailers that are engaged and ready to hear about our NPD and category advice. This allows us to engage directly with retailers and help them maximise their wine sales. epoints offers  hugely valuable contact with the trade and we are delighted to be working in partnership with epoints. We look forward to seeing a continued increase in distribution at participating stores as a direct result.”