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By James Atkinson

Supporting licensed importers is crucial to the prosperity of liquor retailers, according to Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) CEO Terry Mott, who has responded to this week's spirited defence of parallel importers by Michael Kollaras.

Kollaras this week told TheShout that licensed importers would do well to focus on selling their own products rather than trying to discredit their competitors.

In response, ALSA's Mott told TheShout that the industry will benefit by working solidly together and "that means it is important to have strong brands and high quality retailing". 

"Strong brands are a very important part of the mix – particularly in the convenience sector where around 75 – 80 per cent of the retail liquor market is and where the majority of our members operate."

He said ALSA encourages its members "to support the companies that continue to build brands and are supporting marketing and promotional activities around those brands".

"We see many retailers doing their utmost to support the major brand agencies and ALSA encourages our members to focus on their business and their customer service rather than just price," he said.

But like former ALSA president Mal Higgs, he acknowledged that financial realities kick in when the price gap gets too big.

"Many are not able to absorb the difference so are faced with the choice to either not be competitive, change their product mix and the way they go to market, or use other options."

"The difficulty arises in the current environment where the value of the Australian dollar has both exacerbated and maintained the price differential, apparently with some import agencies not being supported by their international brand owners to pass on savings," Mott said.

The Shout Team

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

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  1. The ALSA needs to understand consumer sentiment at the moment, people everywhere are shopping on price. A 20c corona promotional sticker is not going to make people pay $11 more a carton.

    Look at Kogan, Costco, Kmart etc these guys are going well because of razor thin margins.

    If you stray from the specials at an independant bottle shop these days, the owner might as well put on a balaclava while he serves you.

    The australian liquor market needs to adapt or perish.

  2. What a joke! Australian breweries have created the problem of parallel because retailers can not survive on 4% margins for major brands on promotions. I only wish we could make the same margins as Australian / Foreign owned breweries or spirit companies.

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