By James Atkinson
Research predicting Christmas retail liquor sales will be up 10 per cent on last year has been met with scepticism from the trade.
Responding to last week's IBISWorld forecast, Porter's Liquor general manager Giuseppe Minissale doubted that 'premiumisation' will offset the fact that customer numbers are "definitely down across the board".
"We are seeing an increased spend per customer, but the increase in spend would have to be significant to justify the 10 per cent increase in volume [predicted by IBISWorld]," he told TheShout.
"I think they're going to miss the mark – my feeling is it's going to be better than last year by somewhere in the two or three per cent vicinity."
Tony Snell, of Terrey Hills Liquor Supply in Sydney, told TheShout that at the current rate "we'll be lucky to hit last year's figures".
"I don't see that we're going to be 10 per cent up, I'd be very surprised if we are," he said.
"At the moment it's just not happening – I've had three corporate orders whereas this time last year I'd probably already had ten."
Breck Waterman, of Cellarbrations in Blackwood, Adelaide, told TheShout that he expects this Christmas will be marginally up on last year "if we're lucky".
"People are suffering tremendously with extra costs. I can't see how they are going to find the disposable income to purchase," he said.