TURMOIL in the supermarket sector is set to benefit smaller independent stores such as wine merchants and see more shops opening, according to wholesaler Liberty Wines.
The firm’s managing director David Gleave was in Edinburgh for a tasting of 350 wines for his Scottish customers, and said he expects more independent stores to spring up in Glasgow and Aberdeen as people move their drinking habits upmarket. Edinburgh is already well served in the premium off-trade but he sees signs of a post-recession restaurant revival in the capital.
Gleave said the ferocious price war being waged between the major supermarkets and their challengers Aldi and Lidl would mean the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s would have less to invest in their wine range, while trust in their offer has already been eroded by their tactics of continuously marking up and discounting bottles. At the same time, he said changing shopping habits mean people are using time saved by shopping online to buy some premium items at local shops.
“People are moving back to a more fragmented way of doing their weekly shop, and that is benefiting wine merchants, butchers and bakers,” he said. He suggested Scotland’s ban on multiple discount offers for alcohol had also helped.
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