By James Atkinson

Liquor regulators will meet this week to decide on the future of discount liquor retailing in NSW, with bottle shop applications by the three large supermarket chains currently at a standstill.

The Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority announced late last year that it had deferred licence applications by Woolworths, Coles and Aldi following concerns about the potential social impact of heavily discounted alcohol.

The chains' submissions on the issue will be considered at the Authority's monthly meeting this Wednesday, an authority spokesman confirmed.

A decision is expected later this week.

The Shout Team

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  1. I have thought for years that the retail liquor industry should be regulated. And NOT at the prices the chains sell liquor for.
    If we made less than 20 – 24% the ATO would be all over us. Yet the chains can prop up their business with groceries.
    Let GOOD service be the decider in the customers eyes – or range of GOOD product.
    Its about time the powers at be made a decision that wasn’t based around the power of the chains.

  2. There should be no discounting of liquor. All retail liquor outlets (shopfront or web-based) should be selling each product at the same price. Let service and product range be the deciding factor for the consumer.
    I know this might lead to Woollies, Coles and Aldi buying wineries… but they won’t be able to buy them all!!!

  3. As a indepedent liquor retailer, you can’t compete with the prices of the big chains, it’s cheaper for me to buy alcohol from them than my suppliers, that is wrong!
    So it is all about service and product knowledge.

  4. If only good service and product knowledge existed in the dodgy, smelly, poorly stocked, badly managed and dingily lit independent liquor stores of Australia.

    As for price, any retailer can do what the big boys do. The smart side of those big retailers are focusing more and more on range and service.

    Maybe if the independents had started working on these points instead of whingeing about how much ‘better’ their service is for the past ten years, (because we all know its not), they would be on a much leveller playing field. Maybe even ahead in the service game!

    But then again, that would mean doing something besides being the boring corner bottle shop that scares off the modern consumer with an incredibly outdated offer.

  5. Jonas, you are obviously shopping in the wrong places, as for the services in the big chain stores a lot of them are very average, they don’t know for instance about the wine they sell.

  6. Being a sales rep for an alcohol company servicing independent liquor stores in Victoria, I would agree that many stores I have to service are dirty, dark and dodgy. However, I would suggest to Jonas that there are plenty of great independents out there that have a terrific range, genuine service, personality and individuality. You just have to look.
    Unfortunately on a daily basis I am being told that the prices I pass onto my bottle shops are always being beaten by the chains. It is getting harder and harder for me to make budget and keep my job, thanks to the chains. Many great independent retailers have been bought up by the chains, and others being fed up with the current system, have sold up their business to non English speaking investors who don’t always have great customer service or cleanliness as a priority.
    So in the future I can foresee more chains opening more stores driving out good retailers, and the independents we will be left with are licenced milk bars that offer generic alcohol brands at “convenience store prices”. Because they will be buying their stock at full price from the chains… Not the suppliers… Wait… They are already buying it from the chains.
    The government needs to act now. Please introduce price regulation, decrease the duty fees of alcohol, and stop big corporations destroying an industry.

    PS: Does anyone know where I can shop for hardware with genuine friendly service? All I can buy my stuff from now is Bunnings, and the newly opened Masters. what ever happened to the small hardware store down the road.

  7. Rah Rah Rah Rah, Dear Mr Minister, Please close all the shops that sell my products at a significant discount so that I can continue making maximum profit…

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