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Aussie drinkers favour supermarket-affiliated retailers

Three-quarters of the $14.5 billion spent on alcohol at off-premise retail outlets last year went to supermarket-affiliated retailers, with hotel bottle shops and independent stores trailing well behind, according to new research.

The latest ‘Alcohol Retail Currency’ report from Roy Morgan Research says Dan Murphy’s accounted for nearly 30 per cent of the total ($4.3 billion) consumer spending on alcohol in Australia in 2016, up from 25.4 per cent in 2015. The market shares of Woolworths’ two other alcohol retailers, Woolworths Liquor and BWS, dropped, but Dan Murphy’s growth was robust enough to ensure that, between them, the three Woolworths-owned retailers achieved a total dollar market share of 49.2 per cent ($7.1 billion).

The report said First Choice performed best of the Coles-owned liquor retailers, growing its market share from 4.5 per cent to five per cent ($0.7 billion) over the past year, but would need to remain vigilant against the threat of ALDI Liquor, which increased its share to 3.5 per cent (or $0.5 billion) from 2.4 per cent year on year, with a steeper upwards trajectory over the past four years than First Choice.

Year-on-year declines for Liquorland and Vintage Cellars mean that the Coles Group’s total market share has slipped slightly from 15.9 per cent to 15.5 per cent ($2.2 billion), according to the report, and is well down on their 17.4 per cent share in 2012.

Overall, supermarket chains such as Dan Murphy’s, First Choice, Liquorland, BWS and ALDI Liquor amassed $10.5 billion of the total amount spent on alcohol in a retail environment in 2016. Hotel bottle shops (such as Thirsty Camel) accounted for $1.8 billion, ahead of independents such as Cellarbrations ($1.5 billion), wine clubs ($0.7 billion) and duty free stores ($0.1 billion).

The report said supermarket-owned chains now accounted for a 72.3 per cent share of the total market (up from 69.1 per cent in 2015), with other alcohol retailers either trending downwards or steady. The independents’ share declined markedly (from 12.7 per cent to 10.4 per cent), while duty-free stores also suffered (now accounting for just 0.5 per cent of total alcohol retail dollars spent, down from 1.4 per cent). Hotel bottle shops and wine clubs were relatively stable.

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