Pricewatch: 22 February, 2018 - Premium spirits

Analysis

This year has already seen some big premium spirits launches from Pernod Ricard, in the form of limited-edition Absolut Drop of Love and Beefeater Blood Orange, demonstrating the growing appetite for quality alcoholic drinks. 

It also highlights the fact that shoppers are willing to pay more for better brands, offering independents a way to increase sales and gain better margin in the alcohol category.

This week’s table shows independents are leading the way in offering a wider range: four out of six retailers stock Cîroc Black Raspberry (70cl), for example, but you are unlikely to find it in Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Asda.  

Rich Larkin, head of Diageo Reserve, said: “It’s a great time for premium vodka, which remains in growth by volume and value, up 10.5% and 9.4%, respectively.”

With margins of around 20% available, introducing flavoured vodka is an easy way to cash in on extra profit and make your range more exciting. 

Profit checker

PRICE Price distribution %

Price checker

Product Average UK retail price Booker RRP LOCAL C-STORE IN RESIdENTIAL AREA OF WOLVERHAMPTON HIGH STREET C-STORE AND OFF- LICENCE IN SOUTH COAST TOWN HIGH STREET OFF-LICENCE IN CAMBRIDGESHIRE VILLAGE NEWSAGENT AND OFF-LICENCE IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE VILLAGE OFF-LICENCE in NORTH MANCHESTER SUBURB SMALL OFF- LICENCE AND SHOP IN KENT COMMUTER TOWN
COURVOISIER 3 STAR COGNAC 70CL £24.32 £25.29 £20.99 £29.99 £23.99 £23.99 - £23.99
CIROC RED BERRY VODKA 70CL £30.91 £31.49 £27.99 £41.99 £33.50 £29.99 £31.99 £31.49
CIROC BLACK RASPBERRY VODKA 70CL £33.62 £33.75 £32.99 - £33.75 £33.99 - £33.99
GREY GOOSE VODKA 70CL £38.60 - £35.99 £40.99 £39.99 £41.99 - -
HENNESSY VS 3 STAR COGNAC £33.30 £36.75 £31.99 £37.49 £34.99 £33.99 £35.99 £31.99
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE DRY GIN 70CL £23.99 £28.39 - £28.49 £26.99 - - -
CIROC VODKA 70CL £30.64 £31.49 - £41.99 £32.00 £29.99 - -
GLENFIDDICH 12 YEAR OLD MALT WHISKY 70cl £33.62 £38.59 £36.99 - - - £33.99 -
CIROC VODKA PINEAPPLE 70CL £30.33 £31.49 £28.99 - £32.00 £29.99 £31.99 £31.49
WHITLEY NEILL RHUBARB & GINGER GIN 70CL £25.35 £27.99 - - - - £25.99 -
THE KRAKEN BLACK SPICED RUM 70CL £24.15 £24.99 - - £24.99 - £25.99 £24.99
WRAY & NEPHEW WHITE OVERPROOF RUM 70CL £27.25 £31.49 £29.99 £32.99 - - -
Data supplied by
Data supplied by

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Drive your profits

Marija Lewis     Avatar

Marija Lewis

Bargain Booze

Location: Porthcawl, Bridgend

Size: 430sq ft

Type: Village

Top Tip
Look at local competition as well as online prices
I often price below RRP. As a Bargain Booze, people expect low prices before all else. To set those prices, I look around the competition, checking online at places like Amazon. Our biggest seller in the category is gin – anything pink or sparkly is selling very well at the moment. We’ve got more than 100 gins in store and people generally buy them to treat themselves. They see it in the shop and it tempts them to give it a go. Most of our products come through Bargain Booze, although we also source from Hammonds of Knutsford and a couple of local cash and carries.
Debbie Dyer Avatar

Debbie Dyer

Debbens News

Location: Waterlooville, Hampshire

Size: 1,000sq ft

Type: Residential

Top Tip
Stick close to RRP as people will go elsewhere if it’s too expensive
We usually stick to RRP, or go a little above it on our spirits. The margins aren’t particularly brilliant, but if you price too dearly people won’t buy it, and we make our biggest margins in other categories, such as bagged sweets. We are seeing some sales potential as the area around us changes. It used to be primarily a retirement area, but now more families are moving in, so the shop is really growing. We’re only open til 6pm, though, which limits our potential for alcohol sales when people get home from work and fancy something in the evening.
Stacey Brookes Avatar

Stacey Brookes

The Dales Market Corner

Location: Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire

Size: 2,000sq ft

Type: Countryside

Top Tip
Make sure you are cashing in on the gin trend
We buy our premium spirits through Nisa. We normally stick to RRP, but if we get a product on promotion then we’d pass that low price on to the customer. We look around at our competition to make sure our prices are competitive, although our nearest rival is a Spar shop and we aren’t really in competition with any supermarkets, so we have some freedom. Gin is our biggest-selling line – it took off last summer, and has stayed popular. Whisky is also a strong seller and we stock several big brands, such as Glenfiddich and Ardmore.
Sue Nithyanandan  Avatar

Sue Nithyanandan

Costcutter

Location: Epsom, Surrey

Size: 1,300sq ft

Type: Residential

Top Tip
Stock new products to appeal to millennials
We stock some premium gins, vodkas and whiskies – Tanqueray is popular, for example – and we’re planning to expand our range. Whatever we’ve tried before has worked, so we think there’s definitely room for growth. We have a good customer base of millennials who are looking to try new things, and a retired population who have a good understanding of quality products. We plan to replace the covered cigarette gantry with premium spirits. I always stick to the RRP as people can compare prices very easily these days. 

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