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Consumer, Vinmonopolet | Vinmonopolet changes – can have serious consequences for customers

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(The newspaper online): In an internal message, Venomopole staff were informed on June 12 that wholesale tastings would be discontinued after the summer. These are tasting experiences where importers and wholesalers have the opportunity to introduce new products to stores.

Today, the scheme works such that each store has the opportunity to collect up to 20 percent of its stock itself. The rest of the assortment is the basic selection which is the same across all stores.

– Wholesale tasting is the best and greatest opportunity for stores to taste and select the products they want to add to their local menus. It is an important contributor to creating variety from one store to another, says Karl Ingard Sather, wine expert at Nettavisen.

– It will be at the expense of customer experience

He sees several issues with stopping wholesale tastings – among other things, that Vinmonopolet staff won't have the same level of experience dealing with customers.

– The best opportunity to improve skills is to taste the products you sell. Not only are the goods in the order selection displayed when tasting wholesale, there are also basic goods. If the opportunity is removed or restricted, it is extremely negative for employee efficiency and will be at the expense of the customer experience, Sather says.

Trond Erling Petersen, head of trading and trading at Vinmonopolet, denies that their employees will stop tasting the goods.

“We will find another model that suits all parties, which ensures that this can happen during working hours and that we guarantee better attendance,” Petersen tells Netafsen.

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Until today, the tastings were done in their spare time and were not paid for. Nearly half of today's tastings were canceled due to low participation, the letter sent to Venomopole staff said.

There are no plans to raise prices

-But surely there would be additional costs associated with this happening during business hours?

– might happen. “We don't know what the new solution will look like right now, but a lot of this question could be solved by internal reprioritization,” says Petersen.

He stresses that they have no plans to raise prices on Finmonopolite.

Another fear that wine expert Sather has is that stores will have to accept products they have not tasted themselves, and they will have to rely more on advice and recommendations from outside.

– We definitely won't stop tasting. “We will change something in the current arrangement and find better and more appropriate solutions,” Petersen answers.

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