Analysis

Independents are driving down the price of premium spirits, offering the top 12 lines 7% cheaper than Booker’s RRP, on average. 

Most notably, Chivas Regal is £9 cheaper on average in independents than the Booker RRP, meaning that convenience stores could be missing out on extra margin.

Looking at the multiples’ ranges, it’s clear they are missing big opportunities, particularly with flavoured vodka and premium gin. This is why indies regularly point out that these two segments are the biggest opportunities in the category. 

To compete effectively, you need to present a strong range. Make sure you are offering popular and interesting flavours and equip your staff with ideas for mixed drinks they can recommend. 

If you win loyal shoppers with premium lines now for gifts ahead of Christmas, you may keep bringing them back in 2019. This is the perfect time to give them a go.

Profit checker

Price checker

ProductAverageBooker RRPHIGH STREET C-STORE IN BRIGHTON SUBURBBUSY C-STORE IN CENTRAL PORTSMOUTHOFF LICENCE AND C-STORE ON APPROACH TO WARWICKSHIRE COUNTRY TOWNLARGE STORE ON OUTSKIRTS OF SOUTHAMPTONC-STORE IN CENTRE OF BEDFORDSHIRE TOWNOFF LICENCE AND SHOP IN CENTRAL NEWCASTLE
CIROC RED BERRY VODKA 70CL£30.76£31.49£29.99£31.99£25.99£34.99£29.99£39.99
HENNESSY VS 3 STAR COGNAC 70CL£33.30£33.99£31.99£29.99£34.99£39.99
CIROC VODKA 70CL£30.73£31.49£29.99£31.99£25.99£31.49£29.99£39.99
GREY GOOSE VODKA 70CL£39.17£41.99£41.99£39.99£34.99£35.99£37.99£44.99
CIROC VODKA PINEAPPLE 70CL£30.51£31.49£29.99£31.99£25.99£33.99£29.99£39.99
CHIVAS REGAL 12 YEAR OLD 70CL£26.94£35.99£28.99£28.99£23.99£34.99
GLENFIDDICH 12 YEAR OLD MALT WHISKY 70CL£34.41£37.49£35.99£37.99£29.99
CIROC APPLE VODKA 70CL£30.75£31.49£29.99£31.99£31.49£29.99
BOE VIOLET GIN 70CL£29.26£27.79£31.99
ZYMURGORIUM VIOLET GIN LIQUEUR 50CL£27.27£29.99£25.99£32.99
JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL BLENDED 70CL£27.89£31.49£29.99£30.99£25.99£24.99£28.99£29.99
WHITLEY NIELL RASPBERRY GIN 70CL£25.19£27.99£24.99
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EDFM is a specialist in helping leading suppliers to the UK’s independent convenience channel get value, insights and business benefits from EPoS data. To find out how they could help you call 07976 295094

Supermarkets 

Drive your profits

Harry Goraya Avatar

Harry Goraya

Nisa Local

Location: Northfleet, Kent

Size: 2,995sq ft

Type: residential Top Tip Don’t be greedy on price and use social media to your advantage We have a specialist cabinet that sells bottles from £30 to £400. We still stock the £400 bottles, but we have increased our volume of £30-£50 bottles. Customers are willing to pay for good quality in that price bracket. I do well with gins and I have recently tried stocking more rum, which has gone down well. I try to price within £1-£2 of the online price as customers can pick up from me immediately. Customers also often want to take a picture of my cabinet, so I ask them to share it on their Facebook page, which they always do.

Terry Mulkerns Avatar

Terry Mulkerns

Mulkerns Eurospar

Location: Newry, Northern Ireland

Size: 8,500sq ft

Type: residential Top Tip If you have an artistic member of staff, use their talent to create a show-stopping display We put a lot of effort into our off-licence displays, which change every quarter. This year’s, which comprised a large tree, won the best Hennessy brand display. In the run-up to Christmas we’ve worked with Jameson and we try to disrupt customers’ journeys wherever possible. The top price my customers are willing to pay is around £50 for a premium drink. Over that, and you start to get into a specialist market. We’re tailing off on gin sales and looking at whiskey at the moment, with a good range of Irish brands becoming increasingly popular.

Linda Williams Avatar

Linda Williams

Broadway Convenience

Location: Edinburgh

Size: 1,700sq ft

Type: parade Top Tip Have a look at your competition and see where you can fill gaps and remain competitive Because of minimum unit pricing in Scotland, the really cheap deals are no longer on offer, so people are naturally trading up to a better-quality drink when they buy alcohol. We are doing a £25 Cîroc vodka this Christmas; we will be selling it as a loss leader, but promoting it heavily on Facebook in order to bring more people into the store. We’ve also got sampling planned, mainly around pink gin. We compete with an Aldi next door; while we can’t always beat them on price, we are able to offer a much better range.

Harj Gill Avatar

Harj Gill

Select & Save, The Windmill

Location: Birmingham

Size: 2,700sq ft

Type: village Top Tip Make sure the bottles at customers’ eye level are premium, especially in the run-up to Christmas Having a good range is the key to bringing in repeat custom. Customers tend to come back once they know what you stock. I buy a lot on offer, which means I can continue promotions throughout the year. I take a hit on margins, but sell volume. I also make the most of my Select & Save promotions, especially around this time of year. In my area, the price-ceiling on premium tends to be around £35. Cîroc vodka sells well for me. Pink gins are also popular alongside Whitley Neill gins, while Havana Club is a top-selling rum.