Dan Murphy's panic buying

Liquor sales up 20% in Australia during past week

March 24, 2020
By Alana House

The latest CBA credit card data shows liquor sales in Australia have risen 20.4% year-on-year in the past week.

Panic buying was reported in bottle shops on Sunday as nervous customers stocked up, fearful that the government would announce bottle shop closures.

As news of impending drastic Government shutdown orders began to spread, there was confusion as to whether liquor stores would be deemed “essential”.

One worker at a bottle shop in Brisbane told The Brisbane Times it was “as busy as Christmas”.

Staff at a small bottle shop in Sydney’s east agreed liquor sales were up dramatically, telling Daily Mail Australia: “It’s been crazy. We’ve done about $50,000 for the day.” 

However, the government has since confirmed that bottle shops will remain open, while in certain states special liquor licensing has been introduced to allow premises that do not currently have authorisation for the sale of liquor consumed away from the premises to provide take-away or home delivery services.


Matt Swindells, the Chief Operating Officer at Coles, told The Today Show that the supermarket chain’s bottle shops hadn’t experienced the same levels of pandemonium as seen in the toilet paper aisle: “We’re yet to see a run on bottle shops. It would be really, really sad to think that the learnings from our supermarket shoppers can’t then translate into the bottle shops, and we all hold our nerve and just shop in normal patterns, so we don’t see the same thing happen within liquor.”

However, Endeavour Group told suppliers on Monday: “We are encountering unprecedented and increasing customer demand across our stores and online channels.

“Given this, it is now more important than ever that we work together to get your products to our stores to meet this demand.”

Drinks companies have assured liquor chains that there are no supply issues and that they are equipped to cope with demand.

Delivery service customers stock up

Melbourne alcohol delivery service Tipple’s chief executive and founder Ryan Barrington told The Australian that he’s seeing regular orders of over $1000, compared to the usual $60.

“One customer ordered almost every type of chardonnay we have, so part of our challenge has been keeping up with demand,” he said.

Over the last two weeks the company has seen a surge in higher volume orders (over $100) with an increase of 27% over the previous two week period.

Meanwhile, over at Jimmy Brings, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and the Gold Coast customers have been ordering ​32%​ more​ ​beer the past two weeks compared to the two weeks before. 

By comparison Perth, Adelaide and the Sunshine Coast are ordering ​23% more spirits in that same time period.

And Corona beer sales are up 34%.

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