April 2011

The Retailer’s View

Many of the frustrations felt by wine reps and wineries are caused by a lack of wearing the shoe on the other foot - putting oneself into the place of the customer and understanding what their real (and perceived) needs are. As we should all understand, the most solid relationships are built around trust, however [...]

September 2010

If you can’t beat them – copy them

The ongoing 'them and us' outlook of independent retail when referring to the chains is understandable and realistic given the business goals, financial backing and supplier clout differences between the two off premise routes to market. The chains have brought fresh ideas (many borrowed from grocery) into liquor retailing, whether that be marketing campaigns, adverts [...]

July 2010

Gold, Silver or Bronze?

The wine industry loves awarding medals and trophies to itself, much like the entertainment industry loves giving itself shiny awards (in 1991 the Academy Awards won an Emmy Award for best Variety show!). In the 2009 Melbourne Wine Show, 566 producers entered 3,493 wines in the chase for the 22 trophies on offer, and with [...]

The Pains of Retail

Thought this video might amuse, found it on YouTube:

May 2010


In the old world of wine, regionality is everything - it is the style of the wine, the varieties used, the outlook of the producers, the crucible holding centuries of tradition together. Customers roughly know what they are paying for when they put their hand in their wallet for a Chianti, Burgundy or Rioja - [...]

Discounts – An Alternative Option

It's probably about time that we face up to the fact that the discounting and buy deals of the last half of the decade have now become the expected norm - the trade does not expect to pay list price, that's just a starting point for negotiations. Given the reduced return distributors and wineries are [...]

Chained to the Chains?

There isn’t a day go by in the liquor world without an independent retailer asking a supplier to support a promotion, fork out for advertising in the local rag or give a better discount ‘to hit a price point.’ Such is the working of this wine trade. The chains have brought in a very different [...]

The Business of Bottleshops

Have a look at your local liquor retailer and question if they are satisfying their customers’ needs. Ask yourself what makes you go to certain retailers and not others, what would make you browse longer and how they could entice you to purchase more. Inside any liquor store, your average customer want room to move, [...]

Spoilt Buggers!

Who’s a spoilt bugger – our customers, that’s who. Yes, they often whinge about  how suppliers don’t support independent retail enough, complain that buy deals aren’t as good as they used to be or moan about price rises, but we still love them. There isn’t a month in the year that a retailer or restaurateur [...]

Globalisation Hits Home

So there’s a wine glut– too much Aussie plonk and not enough thirsty mouths around the world willing to gulp it down. What makes this problem worse is there’s too much foreign plonk going around too. Imagine my surprise when I saw a lady wonder into an independent bottleshop last week, pick up a six [...]