A merchant recently raised an interesting point with us. What happens when an independent takes advantage of some crazy discounting in a supermarket to stock up on spirits or Champagne at prices that beat those of regular wholesalers?
There’s nothing illegal about this kind of activity. It’s happened on and off for decades. Except that things have changed: merchants are now only allowed to buy from UK suppliers who are accredited under the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme.
So could independents face fines, impounded stock and licences if they continue to load up at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons when they spot a chance for some extra margin? The answer isn’t quite as straightforward as you might think, as we try to explain in the July edition of The Wine Merchant.