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JOHANNESBURG – Retailer Woolworths said yesterday that it was proud to launch a new virtual WCellar experience – showcasing an exclusive and curated wine offer specially for Woolies customers as it grows its digital sales amid Covid-19 disruption.
Woolworths reported online sales grew by 118.8 percent, contributing 4 percent to South African sales for the 26 weeks ended December, 27, 2020.
The retailer said the pandemic and related restrictions had a dramatic impact on consumer shopping behaviour, particularly for wine consumption.
Despite the easing of restrictions, many people still preferred to enjoy a glass of wine in the safety of their homes and online wine sales have increased dramatically during this time, with Woolworths seeing double-digit online wine sales growth.
Woolworths said WCellar online offered customers digital access to its expertly curated wine selection, wine know-how and was the hub of the WCellar Wine Club.
“The WCellar Wine Club, went virtual during lockdown and to date has hosted 24 virtual events, including tastings with Moses Magwaza, Restaurant Mosaic’s head sommelier, Tinashe Nyamudoka, the Test Kitchen head sommelier and Spier and Springfield wine estates, to name a few.
“The WCellar Wine Club offers a virtual community space for like-minded people. The club is free to join and new members are welcomed with a R75 off voucher. Membership enables access to exclusive discounts, event invitations, monthly virtual tastings with winemakers and industry experts as well as insider wine know-how,” the retailer said.
Woolworths was also introducing My Wine Match, a new digital tool offering an innovative approach to online shopping. It enabled shoppers to explore Woolworths’ extensive world-class selections of wines and receive customised, curated wine recommendations and special deals from the comfort of their own homes.
Liz Hillock, Woolworths head of online and mobile, said, “This latest WCellar launch comes hot on the heels of our new concept standalone liquor store and our beauty virtual try-on and virtual beauty consultations launched a few weeks ago. We are delighted to be able to bring the world of wine to our customers’ living room through these extraordinary digital experiences.
“WCellar is a natural extension of our wine offering and provides helpful solutions to those who know what they like when it comes to wine, as well as the enthusiastic novice drinker who is looking to try something new. We are working to become a one-stop shop for the most exciting wines in the country, and we hope that our customers find our new virtual experiences educational, entertaining and fun.”
The new WCellar page, including the new virtual experiences, was accessible and available on mobile devices, through the Woolies app and Woolworths.co.za.
In May, Grocery Woolworths launched its first standalone brick-and-mortar liquor store in Bryanston, Joburg, to compete with other local retailers.
The retailer’s move would see it competing with several other retailers that have standalone liquor stores – including Spar’s TOPS brand and Pick n Pay Liquor.