By Andrew Starke
Under the headline ‘Beer war as Foster’s take on chains to stop sale of $28 cases’, The Sydney Morning Herald today (March 23) reported that ‘Foster's made a call to stop the delivery of tens of thousands of cartons of VB, Carlton Draught and Pure Blonde to Coles' First Choice and Woolworths' Dan Murphy's chains’.
However a spokesperson for Woolworths denied the extent of the claims, telling TheShout that only deliveries of Carlton Draught stock had failed to be delivered for ‘a couple of days’.
He also denied claims that Woolworths had planned to discount cartons of some Foster’s brands to below $30, although the SMH report only accuses Coles of planning to sell VB at $28 per carton.
“We haven’t sold beer at these prices for years,” he said.
“The BWS network has a normal weekly special where a brand is discounted to $33.90 from above $40 but this does not occur at Dan’s.”
However he conceded that Dan Murphy’s ‘price promise’ pledge of matching competitor’s prices may force it to match heavy discounts offered by other retailers.
The Woolworth’s spokesperson also alleged that other retailers were affected by the Foster’s decision to halt deliveries and it was not simply a question of Foster’s taking on the two largest retailers, who between them control 50 percent of liquor distribution in Australia.
He added that Woolworth’s had sufficient stocks of Carlton Draught to service its liquor operations over the disruption of supply and consumers were not inconvenienced.
Normal delivery has since resumed.
Foster’s and Coles were not immediately available for comment.
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