Friday, April 26, 2013

Wine in Supermarkets? A bad idea for wine lovers.

SPIN: Changes to liquor laws will allow wine-lovers like you to buy South Australian boutique wines from underdog independent supermarkets.

FACT: The proposal will also allow Coles and Woolworths, which already claim massive market share of both grocery and liquor sales, to sell home-brand and non-SA wine in high volumes at discounted prices.

I have posted my submission to government plans to allow supermarkets to sell wine. For the record I think this is a very bad idea. If you agree please look at the website for information on how you can help. 

# Lets Draw The Line is © 2013 Authorised by SA Liquor Stores Association Inc. & the Australian Hotels Association (SA Branch) on behalf of Independent Liquor Retailers in South Australia. We are not formally associated with this campaign.  

Dear Member of Parliament,

I am wishing to express my deep concern about the current proposal to allow supermarkets to sell wine.

This proposal will open the floodgates for Woolworths and Coles to put alcohol in their aisles, as well as in all the bottleshops they already own.

And history says they’re not going to be looking after the small, independent South Australian wineries. They will obviously fill the shelves with brands they own and the top selling brands no matter where they come from. The draft legislation says wine in supermarkets can be any type, from any region, any state or any country. The Minister John Rau acknowledges he cannot legislate any other way. 

Allowing supermarkets to sell wine will mean a continued and increasing flood of New Zealand and Chilean product in cleanskins and own brand because of the continuing strength of the $AU. It will be retailed at between $6 and $12 and will further dumb down the local industry.

Plus, they will be selling liquor next door to independent family-owned bottle shops and hotels, who already stock SA wines. A move that will put the livelihoods of these small family businesses under greater pressure if not force them to lay off staff or close their doors for good. This new ‘competition’ will see the exit of specialist pro-local wine shops, the very operators who support SA wines with selection and advice. Add in the added power of a petrol/docket reward it’s hard to see any benefit to the wine industry. 

As many experienced wine industry marketers concede it will just get harder to sell local wine. 

I am opposed to putting our local wine industry in the hands of big retailers with a poor track record of fairly competing with smaller, local businesses. Bottle shops and pubs for liquor. Supermarkets for groceries.


James Hook