Supermarket chain Spar UK has appointed two experts in wine trading to further improve the retailer’s expertise, with one becoming its second Master of Wine.
Both Xenia Irwin, who joins as Wine Trading Controller, and Charlie Craven, who will take up the role of Wine Buyer, previously worked for specialist alcohol companies.
Irwin has been a wine buyer at St Austell Brewery Company since June 2006, but previously worked for Balls Brothers Wine Merchants and Zonin UK, and has also run her own business involving wine education, marketing and event management.
Craven has moved to Spar from Majestic Wine where he held the position of Business Development Manager from May 2008.
Chris Lewis, Head of Wine Buying at Spar UK, said: “I am delighted with our new appointments, and am confident our new starters will help further develop and grow the already highly successful Spar wine range.
“Xenia and Charlie are both proven experts in wine, and bring a wealth of sector knowledge and experience to Spar with them.”
Spar needed to reinforce its wine buying team after losing employees Dror Nativ and Laura Jewell in the summer to rival retailers Sainsbury’s and Tesco respectively.
Both new recruits will work under Lewis, and amongst other duties will help planning for the second Spar Wine Festival to be held next spring.
Lewis added: “The Wine Festival firmly established Spar’s reputation as a credible retailer that sells excellent quality wines at good value, helping to improve consumer price and quality perceptions of the Spar wine range.
“The addition of Xenia and Charlie to the SPAR wine team will serve to further improve this success”.