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Supermarkets lose liquor share

Independent liquor retailers took back around 130,000 customers from supermarket chains over the 12 months to December 2018, increasing their market share from 9.8 per cent to 12.9 per cent, according to research firm Roy Morgan.

Supermarket-owned chains, including Woolworths Group’s BWS and Dan Murphy’s, Coles Group’s LiquorLand, First Choice and Vintage Cellars, as well as IGA and Aldi, lost around 1.8 per cent of the market over 12 month period, according to Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Retail Currency report.

“While the big two supermarket chains are competing, it appears to be largely at the expense of Aldi, IGA and other supermarkets all of whom lost share over the last 12 months,” Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan, said.

“Our research shows a number of drivers of buying behaviour in this market, including proximity to other shops, low prices, an easily browseable range, special offers, expert staff knowledge and good service.”

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2017 – December 2017, n=6,983; January 2018 – December 2018, n=7,039. 
Base: Australian 18+, purchased packaged alcohol last 4 weeks.

Coles Group bucked the trend as the only major retailer to gain share over the year, jumping from 16.5 per cent to 18.1 per cent.

And while Woolworths Group remains the clear market leader, with almost half of the alcohol market (48.3 per cent), its Dan Murphy’s brand lost 4.2 per cent of share during the period.

Woolworths said yesterday that while Dan Murphy’s sales momentum improved over the 13 weeks to March 31, 2019, it is still expecting its Endeavour Drinks group EBIT to be below the prior year as it focuses on improving its range, service and convenience for customers.

Likewise, Coles noted its Liquorland brand has struggled with a subdued market and lower promotional intensity in the beer category, especially over the New Year’s Eve period, which it said underperformed.

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