Thursday, 4 December 2008

Cheaper by the dozen no more

There's been an incentive for years to buy more booze. Whether your alcohol of choice is wine, spirits or beer your local store invariably gives a discount for buying in quanity.

If a can of beer is two bucks fifty on its own then you can get a case of 24 for $40 and save a third on every one. Your ordinary Woolies and Liquorland regularly give a 20% discount for buying wine by the dozen or even half of one.

The real discounters like Dan Murphy and First Choice, where single bottle prices are already low, knock off five per cent if you buy a case.

It's just the way things have been in the Australian liquor business since the abolition of resale price maintenance all the way back in 1975 but maybe the days of alcohol being cheaper by the dozen are coming to an end.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second gave her British subjects the bad news this week that things are about to change. In her speech opening a new session of Parliament in London she foreshadowed that “a Bill will be brought forward to increase the effectiveness and public accountability of policing, to reduce crime and disorder and enhance airport security.” And snuck away in that planned legislation is a Labour Government plan to "prevent low level crime and disorder taking root in our communities by tightening controls around lap dancing clubs and the misuse of alcohol, including the sale of alcohol."

It would have been undignified for Her Majesty to go into the grubby details of such matters - I mean can you imagine her talking about poll dancing in the House of Lords? - but the London Daily Telegraph did.

Basically it appears in Britain it will soon be illegal for retailers to have such offers as buy one get one free or offer a discount on the single bottle price for a multiple bottle purchase.

My experience of matters like this is that governments tend to follow each other. Enjoy those discounts by the dozen while you can.
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