Australians are visiting liquor stores more often, but spending less

Australian liquor retailers are facing stiff competition for a share of consumer spending, according to consumer intelligence company NIQ (Nielsen IQ).

The company’s Omnishopper liquor data shows that while the number of households purchasing liquor has decreased by 3.2 per cent, the average number of trips to liquor stores per household has grown by 3.5 per cent.

However, spending per trip on liquor products declined by 2.3 per cent, as did the units per trip by 3.2 per cent

Queenslanders were the most frequent liquor shoppers, averaging 16 trips in the late 12-month period, while South Australians spent the most per liquor shopping trip, averaging $62 per trip. 

“Against a backdrop of decreasing households purchasing in the category, coupled with economic pressures, insight into demographic profiles and nuances has never been more important,” said Pete Sheridan, MD, NIQ Pacific.

The data also revealed that most major liquor retailers reported declines in the 12 months to October last year compared to 2022.

Endeavour Group sales by value declined by 3 per cent, driven by BWS (down 3.6 per cent) followed by Dan Murphy’s (down 2.5 per cent). Coles Liquor Group was flat (down 0.1 per cent), propped up by Liquorland, which reported a 6.8 per cent year-on-year value increase and made up for double-digit declines reported by First Choice (down by 10.2 per cent). 

The data also revealed that online liquor value sales across major liquor retailers decreased by 18.1 per cent in the latest 12-month period compared to the prior year.

Double-digit declines were recorded in the NIQ data for all categories, with ready-to-drink beverages (RTDs) experiencing the steepest drop in online value sales by major liquor retailers. 

“Online liquor sales experienced a boom in 2020 to 2021, and we are seeing this taper off and normalize”, Sheridan concluded. 

“Despite the current declines off the back of an arguably inflated period in the prior years, we expect online sales to normalise and return to growth in the future.”

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