We little-uns are getting a super-kick in the teeth
Published:  25 July, 2008

Looking at your Wine Report (OLN, July†11), I wasn't surprised to see that retailers' margins (apart from the all-powerful multiple grocers, of course) were down on last year.

We hear a lot about suppliers being squeezed - production costs are going up as well as shipping


and packaging costs

- but let's not forget about how tough life is for retailers, especially these days.

As an independent you're much closer to your suppliers than a multiple can be. We know the agents we deal with personally, and often we know the winemakers - we may have visited wineries, stood on the soil the vines are grown in and eaten dinner with someone who's telling us all about what they're doing and what they want to do, if they only had enough money. We want them to achieve their dreams because we know that will make even better wine that we can sell. But don't forget, we still need to

be around to sell it!

I know times are tough and the supermarkets in particular put a lot of pressure on their suppliers. But I'd like to hear a little bit less about how much they're being squeezed, and see a bit more consideration for the immense pressure that we retailers are under.

We've got a lot of overheads, and we've got increased costs, too.

In fact, we're paying double, because we're paying for their increased costs as well as our own growing

fuel and energy bills.

Amanda Anderson

by email

One more nail in the coffin - well, every little helps

Tesco's move into even lower-price Value wines is just one more nail in the coffin for independents and struggling multiple chains.

It's not enough for them that they're driving us out of business by being everywhere, luring people away from high streets and offering impossible deals on drinks - now they're using the credit crunch

to turn the screw on us again.

It's as if life

isn't tough enough already†with rising rents and soaring fuel bills . I'm so sick of the conniving



drag customers away from


shops and wring out their pockets before they

get anywhere near us.

Every little helps? Yeah, right.

Name and address withheld

For some, high-strength lager has super hero status

This may sound odd, but is there anyone else out there who, like me, likes superstrength lager?

I've been following the debate about whether it should be banned (what's that all about?

I know this has been said before, but what about the Duvels and Chimays of this world? They're superstrength, too, you know). And I think it's time for a fresh look at superstrengths.

Take Carlsberg Special Brew and Skol Super -

they've got a pleasant maltiness and

are sweet and bitter at the same time.

Come on OLN,

set up a blind tasting so we can judge them on their worth rather than by a political agenda.

Mike Jones

by email

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