Tesco to stop selling Carlsberg as brand cull quickens

Tesco is pulling almost all Carlsberg products from stores as part of wider efforts to reduce the number of products it sells so that it can slash prices and improve availability in-stores.

Only four-pack Carlsberg beers will survive the chop and even then they’ll only be available in just 200 stores. The Danish brewer is the latest brand to be given the boot by Tesco, following the removal of Ribena, Capri-Sun and Kingsmill from shelves earlier this year.

A spokeswoman for Tesco said: “We have taken the decision to discontinue a number of Carlsberg products in our stores and online. We will continue to offer customers a great range of beers, lagers and ciders. Colleagues in store will be on hand to offer assistance and suggest alternatives should customers find a product they used to buy is no longer available.”

Tesco’s chief executive Dave Lewis is on a mission to pull up to a third of products from its shelves as he looks to streamline the shopping experience which had confused shoppers by offering them a choice of up to 90,000 products on their weekly shop. He has hired management consultants the Boston Consulting Group to help decide which products to ditch. It’s expect the process will leave it with stocks between 65,000 and 70,000.

It’s an approach indicative of the back-to-basics methods that have served Aldi and Lidl so well in their rise to popularity in recent years, with the likes of Tesco forced to rethink the way they get shoppers through their doors regularly. Tesco saw its share of the market continue to drop in the 12 weeks to 13 September, down 0.6 per cent to 28.2 per cent, according to Kantar Worldpanel. This was driven by a one per cent drop in sales in the period.

Carlsberg’s cull comes at a bad time for the brewer, given its stuttering performance and Tesco’s status as the country’s biggest supermarket. The brand has cut its full-year profit forecast after seeing beer sales in the UK drop during the first half of the year. UK beer volumes sagged six per cent in the first six months of the year, compared with a four per cent decline for the overall market.

The brewer declined to comment on the announcement. Some fans of the brand have also expressed their disappointment at Tesco’s decision on social media (see below).

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