The “big two” dominate $15bn alcohol market

alcoholThe “big two” Aussie supermarkets continue to dominate the $15.1 billion alcohol retail sector with hotel bottle shops feeling the pressure, according to the latest research from Roy Morgan.

Woolworths Group takes the largest market share in dollar terms standing at 52.1 per cent worth $7.9 billion, while Coles Group takes the next largest slice of the pie at 15.4 per cent, worth $2.3 billion.

In the 12 months to September 2018, hotel bottle shops lost 240,000 customers, while Woolworths-owned outlets picked up 250,000. Independent retailers and hotel bottle shops struggled to compete, with market share at 10.5 per cent and 9.9 per cent respectively.

Woolworths-owned Dan Murphy’s increased its customer base over the period by 4.0 per cent while its BWS customer base increased by 9.3 per cent.

Coles’ Liquorland experienced a drop of 13.1 per cent in its customer base, while Vintage Cellars’ grew by 18.5 per cent and 1st Choice Liquor remained virtually unchanged.

Meanwhile, ALDI and IGA remained small players in the alcohol retail market, taking market shares of 3.3 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively.



Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine, said that Woolworths “continues to set the pace” making it difficult for smaller retailers.

“This is certainly harming the trade of hotel bottle-shops, which have continued to lose customers. That has to hurt in a retail environment in which total spend on packaged alcohol has been falling throughout 2018,” Levine said.

The Roy Morgan Alcohol Retail Currency Report is based on data collected through in-depth face-to-face interviews conducted with over 50,000 Australians. It shows a number of drivers of buying behaviour including “proximity to other shops, low prices, an easily browseable range and good special offers”.


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