It must be true! After all we read it in the paper, hear it on the radio and see it on television everyday. If you want the cheapest price then you must shop in the multiples or big discounters. Fair enough if you want that special bottle for that special occasion then a visit to your local independent off-licence might be worth a visit and as a bonus you’ll get knowledgable and friendly service. For the everyday, however, stick with the big guys and the prices make the impersonal acceptable.
As a self employed, small business owner I work considerable hours. In fact no week would be less than 70 hours (something I’m not particularly proud of, but a fact of my life nonetheless). It means I don’t get much of a chance to see first hand what others in my line of business are doing. So, with a spare hour last Wednesday morning, and finding myself in one of those uplifting shopping centres, I took the opportunity to wander into the off-licence section of one of the major multiples. Well, what an eye opener!! Immediately one is confronted with the below-cost offerings and “half-price” wines and you wonder at their ability to continue to churn these out with little or no perceivable profit-margin. Then, when you look at their general offerings, things become a little clearer!!! Here are just some of my findings:
Smirnoff Lt my price €24.99
Powers ltr my price €29.99
Jameson 1Ltr – my price €29.99
Corona 6 pack – my price €8.50 Santa Rita wine range – my price €7.99
My prices have been, in all cases, at that point for at least the last 12 months and are not based on some weekly special. So let’s do the sums on a simple purchase of only 5 standard off-licence products:
1ltr Smirnoff, 1Ltr Jameson, 1 x 6 pack Corona and 1 Btl each of Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc – the multiple price €90.25, my price €79.46, a whopping difference of €10.79 on only 5 items. The multiples would take a full page advert in the Nationals to highlight a difference like this!!! Let’s not forget, also, that in all probability the cost price of those products to the multiples would be far less than to a stand alone, independent off-licence like myself.
Lesson learned? Well, no doubt it pays to shop around, but when it comes to where, it’s best to ignore the commonly held preconceptions and misconceptions of the independent wine shops and as well as getting informed, helpful and friendly advice, why not pick up a bargain too!!