An independent bottle shop that cheerfully served a local community for over a decade closed its doors for good just days after Dan Murphy moved in later.
The quaint neighborhood shop on Blackwood Street, Mitchelton, in north Brisbane, is just the latest to disappear when one of Australia’s retail giants sets up shop in the city.
The Liquor Stax brand store closed its doors on March 1, just five days after Dan Murphy’s in Brookside opened on February 24, as part of the refurbishment of the Brook Hotel, which also offers drive-thru and slots.
A closing sale for the little bottle-o was held the day Dan Murphy’s opened as they tried to get rid of their stock at a discount. The nearby independently run pub, The Woods, is now also struggling to stay open.
The closure prompted residents who have been loyal customers for years to express their disappointment on social media.
I would much rather stop at Blackwood Street than go to the big dog. Thank you so much for all the laughs and friendly service over the years,” wrote a disappointed local.
‘Oh, that’s sad,’ lamented another.
Independent neighborhood bottle shop Liquor Stax in Mitchelton, north Brisbane, closed just days after Dan Murphy moved in later.
Small, locally run businesses facing worker shortages and supply chain problems are disappearing as big box retailers like Dan Murphy’s and its ‘lowest price guarantee’ spread across the country (file image)
Residents said they would miss the “laughter and friendly service” they were given when they entered the local business over the years.
The vacant tenancy, just a three-minute drive from the new Dan Murphy’s, appeared on the Raine & Horne real estate site this week.
“Long-term owners are looking for the next quality tenant and will consider all serious offers,” he said.
“Join a great mix of tenants that include a coffee shop, bakery, fish and chip shop, and thrift store.”
The tiny shop was dwarfed in size by Dan Murphy’s owners, Endeavor Group. The company was formed by supermarket giant Woolworths by spinning off its liquor assets and merging them with the Bruce Mathieson Group (BMG) hotel and slots empire.
Along with its 248 Dan Murphy’s stores, it also owns more than 1,200 BWS liquor stores, Jimmy Brings delivery service, Cellar Masters, Shorty’s Liquor and Pinnacle Drinks.
The group also operates around 340 pubs, including the Brook Hotel, and 12,400 slot machines across the country, the third largest gaming operator after Crown and The Star.
Alcohol sales, long considered recession-proof, are expected to rise 2.9 percent in Australia this year with retail sales worth around $22.3 billion, according to research firm Circana. .
And Endeavor Group is charging more than anyone else, selling one in two bottled drinks.
According to Roy Morgan’s research, Endeavor accounts for roughly half of all off-premise alcohol sales in Australia at a staggering 49.2 per cent, with Dan Murphy’s and BWS leading the way.
Its online marketplace alone reached $1 billion in sales in 2022.
Dan Murphy’s has around 248 ‘super-stores’ across Australia with owner Endeavor Group selling a whopping 49.2 per cent of all off-premises drinks in the country.
The vast mega-chain offers rows and rows of wine, spirits and beer delivered by the company’s network of vendors.
It’s not the first time that Dan Murphy’s cavernous shops have caused a stir among the locals.
Not long ago, the company scrapped the development of its Dan Murphy megastore in Darwin, near three dry NT communities, after much backlash.
At the other end 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 poolside. , the local school and nursery.
‘There is absolutely no need for this large chain store to open in the city. It will destroy local family businesses, chew up the workers, pay them less and ruin the aesthetics of the city,” wrote a local on social media after the meeting.
“Looks like a David and Goliath battle, who turns down Uncle Dan?” another noted.
An Endeavor Group spokesperson said the development would create around 30 jobs and would be a “smaller store than those found in the Melbourne metropolitan area”.
In Apollo Bay, along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, a proposed beachfront BWS angered locals.
‘Apollo Bay doesn’t need a big liquor company. It’s beautiful and their brewery draws people to town,” one person said.
But one pub still has hope for the little one.
The Woods, just a few doors down from what was once the Liquor Stax in Mitchelton, hopes to be one of the few in 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 to support.
Owner Steven Powell said he was focused on providing a boutique experience that featured little-known beverage styles and producers.
He has even opened a neighborhood bar with a cocktail bar hidden at the bottom of the bottle.
‘He (Dan Murphy’s) will serve those who are locked into his brand… On one side of the coin is big retail. On the other side of that coin, the much smaller side, is the independent,” Powell told The Courier Mail.
‘We work hard to offer an offer that is unique, diverse and relevant.’
An Endeavor Group spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that they, too, were focused on the local community.
“We are committed to delivering a compelling customer experience that is locally relevant to the area,” the spokesperson said.
“Customers will be able to discover a range of nearly 10,000 products, including a large selection of premium wines, craft beer and craft spirits.”
“The store will also create valuable job opportunities for locals, 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 locals, work with local suppliers and curate ranges of stores to 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 into leafy corner shops on Blackwood St, Mitchelton.
2012 – 2022 – Small businesses are popular with locals and visitors to the nearby BYO strip of outdoor restaurants.
September 25, 2020 – Application submitted to redevelop the nearby Brook Hotel into a massive 1,550 sq. ft. Brook Tavern and a 1,360 sq. ft. Dan Murphy megastore.
February 2022 – Construction begins on Dan Murphy’s.
February 24, 2023 – Dan Murphy’s in Brookside opens.
March 1, 2023 – Liquor Stax in Mitchelton closes.
July 2023 – Remodeled Brook Tavern is expected to open.