By James Atkinson

If the latest round of liquor price discounting is bad news for the industry's smaller players, don't blame Woolworths Liquor, says group director, Steve Greentree.

Greentree told TheShout today that rival Coles' aggressive move of declaring war on liquor prices this week, with cuts of up to 31%, was a "first for retail".

"I don't know of any retailer that's made such brazen statements," he said, of Coles' bid to claim the category's lowest prices.

Greentree said Woolworths "reacted rather than led" the price cuts, and the customer is the biggest winner.

He suggested that anyone in the industry who is aggrieved should direct their blame "down south" at Coles' head office.

"We've got a responsibility to protect our brand," he said.

In a further jibe, Greentree suggested that the extension of Coles' 'Down Down' marketing campaign into Liquorland stores was a response to the chain's less than impressive sales results announced at the end of the financial year.

Earlier this week, Coles general manager of liquor, Tony Leon said in a statement that the company was seeing the results of the price war "only one day in".
"But we know a price war isn't won in a day," he said.

"Customers can be sure that we are constantly working toward delivering the market's best value on quality wine, beer and spirits, to ensure that all Aussie summer celebrations from the backyard barbecue to the Christmas day feast are festive, rather than frugal."

Leon was unavailable for further comment.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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  1. Where is the dept for the benefit of woolworths & Coles ?
    Doing nothing as usual while they take over yet another huge chunk of the Australian retail economy.
    Might makes right in the Australian economy, Obviously.

  2. We all hate Coles and Woolies, but they obviously negotiate better with the breweries than the Hoteliers and smaller bottle shops do. If you add up all the grog that is purchased from Tooheys and Fosters from independant Hotels (non ALH and Coles ) and Clubs accross the country, they would buy a lot more than Coles and Woolies, but get no bulk discount.
    Why dont you all genuinely unite into a bohemith buying group and demand the same prices as woolies get. If you dont receive it every pub / club in the country will stop stocking that brand.

    Imagine every pub club stopped selling VB until the price per carton was the same as woolies.

    They would drop the prices in a day.

  3. I agree with Ben but It is hard to see how we will ever compete ouside of promoting different products to the multiples.
    One place we are strong is to start looking at our keg prices which are worldwide ridiculously high if we cen band together thre is a chance at making a better margin on everything.

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