The opening of Dan Murphy will cause independent liquor bottle shops to close in Brisbane and Melbourne, Victoria
An independent bottle shop that has happily served a local community for more than a decade has closed its doors for good just days after Dan Murphy’s moved in just down the street.
The quaint convenience store in Blackwood Street, Mitchelton, in Brisbane’s north, is the latest to go under as one of Australia’s retail giants sets up shop in the city.
The Liquor Stax-branded store closed its doors on March 1 — just five days after Dan Murphy’s opened in Brookside on Feb. 24 — as part of the redevelopment of the Brook Hotel, which also offers a drive-thru and slot machines.
The day Dan Murphy’s opened, a sale was held for the little bottle-o as they tried to unload their stock at a discount. The nearby independent pub The Woods is also now fighting to stay open.
The closure prompted residents, who have been loyal customers for years, to express their disappointment on social media.
‘I’d much rather stop at Blackwood Street than go to the big dog. Thank you so much for all the laughter and friendly service over the years,” wrote one disappointed local.
“Oh that’s sad,” another complained.
Independent neighborhood bottle shop Liquor Stax in north Brisbane’s Mitchelton has closed just days after Dan Murphy’s moved in down the street
Small locally-run businesses coping with labor shortages and supply chain issues are disappearing, while big stores like Dan Murphy’s and its “lowest price guarantee” spread across the country (file image)
Residents said they would miss the ‘smile and friendly service’ when they stopped by the local business over the years
The vacant lease — just a three-minute drive from the new Dan Murphy’s — surfaced this week on Raine & Horne’s real estate site.
Long-term owners are seeking the next quality tenant and will consider all serious offers.
‘Join a great mix of tenants including a coffee shop, bakery, fish & chip shop and thrift store.’
The small shop was eclipsed in size by Dan Murphy’s owners, Endeavor Group. The company was founded by supermarket giant Woolworths who spun off its liquor assets and merged them with the hotel and slots empire of the Bruce Mathieson Group (BMG).
In addition to its 248 Dan Murphy’s stores, it also owns more than 1,200 BWS liquor stores, delivery service Jimmy Brings, Cellar Masters, Shorty’s Liquor and Pinnacle Drinks.
The group also operates approximately 340 pubs – including the Brook Hotel – and 12,400 slot machines across the country, the third largest gambling operator after Crown and The Star.
According to research firm Circana, alcohol sales, long considered recession-proof, are expected to rise 2.9 percent in Australia this year, with sales of about $22.3 billion.
And Endeavor Group cashes in more than anyone else, selling one out of every two bottle-o-drinks.
According to research by Roy Morgan, Endeavor accounts for about half of all off-premises alcohol sales in Australia at an astonishing 49.2 percent, with Dan Murphy’s and BWS leading the way.
The online market alone will reach $1 billion in revenue by 2022.
Dan Murphy’s has around 248 ‘superstores’ across Australia, with owner Endeavor Group selling a whopping 49.2 per cent of all off-premises drinks in the country
The massive mega-chain offers row after row of wine, spirits and beer supplied by the company’s network of suppliers
It’s not the first time Dan Murphy’s cavernous shops have caused a stir among locals.
Not long ago, the company scrapped its Dan Murphy’s megastore development in Darwin – near three dry NT communities – after major backlash.
On the other side of Australia, locals in the popular weekend town of Daylesford, two hours northwest of Melbourne, held a town hall meeting in August to oppose the construction of a new Dan Murphy’s next to the local swimming pool, school and nursery.
“There is absolutely no need for this large retail chain to open in the city. It will destroy local, family-owned businesses, chew up workers, underpay them and ruin the city’s aesthetic,” one resident wrote on social media after the rally.
“It seems like a battle between David and Goliath, who is Uncle Dan rejecting?” commented another.
A spokesman for the Endeavor Group said the development would create about 30 jobs and be a ‘smaller store than the one in Melbourne’s metro’.
In Apollo Bay, along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, a proposed BWS across the beach sparked the ire of locals.
“Apollo Bay doesn’t need a big alcohol company. It’s beautiful and their brewery brings people to the city,” said one person.
But one pub still offers hope for the little man.
The Woods – just a few doors down from what was once Liquor Stax in Mitchelton – hopes to be one of the few to reach the big tide.
The Woods neighborhood bar and bottle shop in Mitchelton, just down the street from the now-closed Stax, hopes it can survive Dan Murphy’s onslaught by offering something customers will fight for
Owner Steven Powell said he was focused on providing a boutique experience featuring little-known drink styles and producers.
He’s even opened a neighborhood bar with a tucked-away cocktail bar at the back of the bottle-o.
“It (Dan Murphy’s) will serve those who are tied to their brand… On one side of the coin is the large retail offering. On the other side of that coin, the much smaller side, is the independent,” Mr Powell told The Courier Mail.
“We work hard to deliver an offering that is unique, diverse and relevant.”
A spokesman for the Endeavor Group told Daily Mail Australia that they, too, were targeting the local community.
“We are committed to providing an engaging customer experience that is locally relevant to the area,” the spokesperson said.
“Customers will be able to discover from an assortment of nearly 10,000 products, including a large selection of premium wines, craft beer and craft spirits.”
“The store will also create valuable employment for the local population, with the addition of 20 full-time and casual positions.”
“All stores in the Endeavor Group network are committed to being a valued member of their local community. ‘
“We’re passionate about local – we employ local people, work with local suppliers and create store assortments that suit local tastes, and that’s what we’re going to do with Dan Murphy’s Mitchelton.”
HOW SUBURB LOST A FAVORITE
2012 – Independent bottle shop Liquor Stax moves to leafy neighborhood stores in Blackwood St, Mitchelton.
2012 – 2022 – Small businesses are popular with locals and visitors to the nearby open-air BYO restaurant strip.
September 25, 2020 – Application submitted to redevelop nearby Brook Hotel into massive 1,550 sq ft Brook Tavern and Dan Murphy’s 1,360 sq ft mega store.
February 2022 – Construction of Dan Murphy’s begins.
February 24, 2023 – Dan Murphy’s in Brookside is opening.
March 1, 2023 – Liquor Stax at Mitchelton closes.
July 2023 – Redeveloped Brook Tavern expected to open.