Scott Christiansen at Star Liquor Warehouse is reaping the rewards of the COVID-19 shutdown on licensed venues.
Scott Christiansen at Star Liquor Warehouse is reaping the rewards of the COVID-19 shutdown on licensed venues.

CQ Bottle shop reap rewards of COVID-19 closures

AS THE world played witness to overwhelmed shoppers coming to blows over toilet paper and groceries last month, another product grew in demand just as much.

Since the Federal Government announced the closure of pubs and other venues across Australia under strict social distancing restrictions, it seems the public has turned to bottle shops as their saving grace.

Manager of Star Liquor Warehouse Scott Christiansen said the North Rockhampton shop had experienced a significant spike in liquor sales since last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our sales probably ­doubled the first week when the government shut down the onsite premises like the pubs,” Mr Christiansen said.

“ It has sort of started to peter out a little bit, but sales are definitely still up.

“We’re still doing above average sales, but it’s not like it was like that first week, we had basically doubled our sales by 50 per cent in the first week.”

According to Commbank data, nationwide sales at ­bottle shops had skyrocketed by nearly 86 per cent after the closure of licensed venues.

Though the demand for liquor increased for the Park Avenue bottle shop, Mr Christiansen denied that the spike mirrored panic buying which had stirred chaos across the country.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been panic buying like people have been doing with groceries, but people have been coming in and buying more,” Mr Christiansen said.

“Instead of buying one carton they’ve bought two, or instead of buying one bottle they’re buying two or three. “But I wouldn’t necessarily label it panic buying.”

Unlike Woolworths’ move to introduce sale restrictions at BWS and Dan Murphy’s, Star Liquor had yet to ­implement anything similar.

“We haven’t applied any restrictions at this point in time,” Mr Christiansen said.

“We don’t have plans to do that at this stage either, not unless we get an email from our suppliers that their stock is running low.”

Mr Christiansen that while the spike in sales had been fantastic for business, he was surprised to see the sale of one particular product increase.

“It’s been a bit of a variety. wine, beer and RTDs have still been going strong,” he said.

“But I’m probably selling a lot more wine than I usually do, I’m not too sure why that is though.”



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