Saturday, June 22, 2024

Battle of the bottle shops

A Roy Morgan Research study has found that that while almost half of surveyed Australian adults who purchase alcohol are ambivalent about which store they shop in, most of the rest prefer to flock to Dan Murphy’s.

In a survey from 2006, 56 per cent of Australian respondents aged 18 or older who purchased alcohol in an average four-week period in the 12 months to September 2006 said they believed ‘all liquor stores are about the same’. However, by September 2015, this figure had fallen to 47 per cent.

Meanwhile, the proportion who agreed that ‘no single liquor store is best, but two or three are better than others’ rose from 35 per cent to 42 per cent over the same period, and those who felt that ‘one liquor store is the very best’ crept up from six per cent to nine per cent.

Among these two groups, Dan Murphy’s is the clear standout, with 78 per cent and 72 per cent, respectively – claiming so much dominance that Roy Morgan General Manager of Consumer Products Andrew Price described the retailer as a “category killer”.

“These latest findings confirm what our recent report on the Australian liquor retail market suggested: that Dan Murphy’s dominates the market to such an extent that it can be considered a category killer,” he said.

“Not only does Dan Murphy’s lead the field in terms of total dollars spent on alcohol in an average seven days, and in terms of customer satisfaction, winning the Roy Morgan Liquor Store of the Year award for 2015, it is also front and centre of consumers’ consciousness, being the retailer most likely to be nominated by Australian alcohol buyers who believe that two or three liquor stores are better than others, or that one store is the best of the lot.”

Among alcohol buyers surveyed who feel that ‘two or three stores are better than others’, Dan Murphy’s came in ahead of BWS at 38 per cent, Liquorland at 28 per cent and 1st Choice at 23 per cent, painting a challenging picture for independent liquor retailers who are seeking to differentiate their offer.

“Between Dan Murphy’s overwhelming prevalence and the large sector of the alcohol-buying public who think all liquor stores are the same, other retailers seeking a higher profile or better public image have their work cut out for them,” Mr Price said.

“That’s not to say the challenge is insurmountable, but without a detailed understanding of their target consumers – spanning everything from demographics, attitudes, motivations and media consumption habits – and a communications strategy tailored accordingly, it will certainly be an uphill battle.”

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