Category Guide: Seasonal Alcohol

Retailer Viewpoints

rav garchaRav Garcha, Spend & Save stores, West Midlands

“Last Christmas, the retailers got a really good deal, getting 1l spirits for £15, but we couldn’t even get them for £19. It meant we couldn’t compete. I have lots of cash & carries nearby and they all leave their deals too late. It’s not much good to us when an offer appears on Christmas Eve. We need to be getting that stock out earlier.”

Tollgate Express

Jitendra Limbachia – Tollgate Express, Crawley, West Sussex

“Our customers are always up for trying something new – especially with cider and wine – and alcohol-free drinks are picking up. Suppliers could do more to push new flavours in-store, rather than just incentivising through wholesale. All it would take is for a rep to come along with a free taster.”

On-trade viewpoints

Natasha Springer – Banner’s restaurant, Crouch End, north London

“We make our own mulled wine and Christmas puddings, and we sell loads of them. Our bar is fully stocked all year round, but we get in more brandy and spiced drinks over the festive season. The smell of the mulled wine really steals the restaurant and once someone orders it, other tables want it, too.”

Anthony Trueman – The Almanack gastro pub, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

“We understand the value of trying new products and have a special cocktail menu at Christmas. I’ve worked all over the country and seen some things sell in London that won’t work in Manchester and so on, so I’d say it was important for wholesalers to understand regional differences.”

Olly Green – Franklyn’s, Heswall, Merseyside

“As a cocktail bar selling premium products, some of our more specialist spirits, beers and wines aren’t available through general wholesalers. But over Christmas, you tend to run low on the more common items anyway, so these places are ideal on days when deliveries aren’t possible. Prosecco is a huge seller for us. We seem to be ordering more and more in each week, and always selling out.”

 How can wholesalers crack Christmas? Read here to find out.


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