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Major drinks maker Diageo says it is sticking by its premium brands – such as Johnnie Walker whisky – despite City pressure to focus on value alcohol brands. A chart in the FT shows the brands at the top and the bottom are doing OK. Cue the death of the middle articles.
It was only six months ago that the City was pressing supermarkets to drop their premium own label brands and suggesting that Waitrose, the up-market grocer, was in trouble. A week ago, both premium own label and Waitrose were back in fashion.
For local retailers, the premium brands that matter are those that they can move in sufficient volume to generate a good cash margin. If you hear this noise from the City, ignore it. Visiting your local cash and carry and looking at the shelves to see what is moving and what is not is a better bellwether.
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