Somerfield loses £10 million taste buds as Mount quits

Drinks star leaves after 15-year stint that put supermarket on wine map

Somerfield wine trading manager Angela Mount is leaving the supermarket after 15 years in the BWS team.

Mount, whose taste buds Somerfield famously insured for £10 million, told OLN she plans to take time out before deciding what to do next, although she does want to stay involved with wine.

"It's been a very exciting time because the changes I've been able to make, to not just the wine range but the whole reputation and image of the Somerfield wine department, have been huge, and I've really enjoyed my time there. But, as with everyone, normally there is something else that you want and new challenges, and I just felt the time was right to pursue some of those," she said.

Somerfield praised Mount's contribution in a statement. "Angela has been responsible for building the reputation and breadth of Somerfield's wine range and generating a high profile for Somerfield as a high-street wine retailer," it said. "Work will continue to build Somerfield's wine range in line with customer expectations and demand and to develop a strong own-brand wine presence." Mount leaves in March but the supermarket has not yet confirmed whether it will replace her.

Somerfield's wine business was struggling when Mount joined - today it makes 10 per cent of the multiple's £5 billion turnover, and gets recommendations in local, national and trade media.

In May 2006 Mount returned to full-time buying as part of a wine department restructure after consortium Violet Acquisitions took over Somerfield.

Mount has particularly focused on female shoppers who can't spend a long time choosing wine. She has tried to make it easier with shelf barkers, food matching advice and wine recommendations on ready meals.

"My biggest achievement is to have put Somerfield on the map of wine retailing, and really to have built up a range and a reputation for wine from virtually nothing to something that stands proud among its peers in terms of quality of range and value for money. It has developed a very strong reputation," she said.