13 June 2006

The irony of Coles' Liquorland.

Does the Coles Group (we’ll call them that because in the wake of the finalisation of the Myer sale they haven’t gotten around renaming themselves yet) understand irony? It seems not if we are to understand this sign prominently displayed out the front of one of their newly renovated Liquorland stores. While EBIT and sales are up by 5%, the chain has been in constant state of brand repositioning since 1996, when the new logo was launched. Now Liquorland is going further down-market with prices to match.
While this hints to some degree of strategy within the Group and might seem a good thing to some people (Coles), it’s not so for those suburban markets where Coles and rival Woolworths control many of the liquor outlets and deem that a single suburban area cannot support BOTH their premium liquor store offerings, Dan Murphy and Vintage Cellars.

All the more reason for the ACCC to keep a close watch on the territorial carve ups that have resulted from their aggressive entry into the lucrative Australian wine and liquor trade industry.