The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has outlined its preliminary concerns at Endeavour Group’s proposed acquisition of the Beachfront Hotel, and attached bottleshop, in Rapid Creek, just north of Darwin.

The competition watchdog has published a statement of issues, which in particular outline concerns regarding the efficiency and competitiveness of other bottleshops in the area, should Endeavour take over the Beachfront Hotel’s retail outlet.

The Beachfront Hotel bottleshop currently operates under the Cellarbrations banner and Endeavour already operates four BWS stores within five kilometres of the Beachfront.

“We are concerned that this proposed acquisition is likely to substantially lessen competition in the supply of takeaway liquor in the local area,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.

Endeavour’s existing BWS Nightcliff store is the closest large format liquor store with a comparable size and range to the Beachfront hotel.

“It is important that local consumers in the Rapid Creek area benefit from competition between large liquor stores with different promotions, range and service offerings,” Carver said.

The ACCC is also investigating the impact of the acquisition on the competitiveness of other independent liquor stores in Darwin. In particular, whether removing the Beachfront Hotel liquor store from the Cellarbrations banner network, and removing it as a wholesale customer of Metcash-owned Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM), impacts the efficiency and competitiveness of other stores that operate under the Cellarbrations banner, or receive wholesale supply from ALM.

The ACCC invites submissions from interested parties in response to the statement of issues by 16 January 2023.

The ACCC also invites customers of the Beach Hotel Cellarbrations to complete a short survey on their shopping habits.

The ACCC’s final decision is currently scheduled for 9 March 2023More information, including the statement of issues, is available at: Endeavour Group Limited – Beachfront Hotel.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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