Supermarket Bottle Shops Will Cost You More

When you're done with the week's shopping, it often seems convenient to pop into the associated liquor shop next door. But doing so may well cost you a lot more than the convenience warrants, a new study by Choice suggests.

Picture by mugley

ABC News reports that a Choice survey of the major liquor retailers, including the brands owned by retail giants Coles and Woolworths, found that supermarket-branded stores often charge far more for the same goods. As Choice spokesperson Christopher Zinn explained:

In one of the most dramatic examples, VB cost 40 per cent more in Woolworths Liquor than in Dan Murphy's - even though both of these retailers are owned by the same supermarket chain.

Supermarkets aren't the only problem area, however; independent bottle shops can also prove pricey as they can't exploit economies of scale to the same degree.

Shopping around for specials and buying in bulk are the best strategies for saving money on alcohol. You can hunt down specials with previously mentioned Boozle. Got your own money-saving drinking tips? Share them in the comments.

Supermarkets caught in booze price rort [ABC News]


    I miss my local bottle shop. They were small, crammed with beer stacked to the ceiling, and the prices were great on most stuff. They always had a great selection of international beers, and if they didn't have it, all you had to do is ask and they'd try to source it and give it a go.

    Not forgetting the free tastings they held every now and again, when their suppliers would all come down with their beers and wines for us to try.

    But as they grew more popular, they eventually expanded into a warehouse style liquor store, with everything neatly stacked on shelves and us having to walk a mile to the back of the warehouse to grab a slab.

    Now they've sold out to the Coles 1st Choice chain, and are just like every other store out there.

      Hi Bam,

      i am curious to know the suburb of that bottleshop sold to 1stchoice.


    They jack up the prices so that they can run their promo deals... same with the wine - 30% off a dozen my ass. More like gouging people who only buy individual bottles.

    Angus, It is worse than that. Far be it for me to decry the lack of depth in many Choice critiques - so I'll add my own...

    YES, I find the shelf prices in co-located grog shops to be generally excessive. Regular 20/25/30% off deals seem to be one response.

    MORE to the point, the selection of wines, beers and spirits appear to be very limited and pretty old fashioned. You'd think that the company tie ups (Woolworth with Dan Murphy and Coles with First Choice) would mean that some corporate knowledge and expertise would flow through to the wider network - but I don't see real evidence of this.

    NOR do the staff in these bottle shops seem to have much in the way of product knowledge. I recall times when I've asked a question and found that staff have zero knowledge of the wines on the shelves. If I was going to a Dan Murphy or a First Choice outlet I'd be getting useful, honest opinions (and yes, that means that staff tell me when they haven't tasted a particular wine).

    I do miss having a local, relatively independent grog shop. A place where the owner knew what was on the shelves (and out the back). A place where there were regular tastings, reps for local producers were likely to get a hearing, and you'd get a call if something special was coming in.

    In the absence of that local shop, it is off to the local 'barn' for me. I wouldn't touch the tied bottle shops with a forty foot barge pole (unless there was a 20 cents per litre fuel discount attached...).

    Independent bottle shops always seem cheaper to me. Coopers pale at the supermarket is about $16-$17 were as at the independent up the road I can get it for $12

    Always amused me how Woolworths owned BWS would have cartons of beer selling for $50 when 2km's down the road Dan Murphy would do the same beer for $40.

    The fact that bods would pay $50 totally floored me. Yet, just think that in a couple of years time, cartons of beer will averaging near $50. It was only 2 years ago that slabs were $37.

    Don't you just love twice yearly CPI increases...

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