16/10/2007 - 22:00

First Dan Murphy's outlet to open

16/10/2007 - 22:00

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Woolworths subsidiary, Dan Murphy’s, is almost ready to open its first large-format discount outlet in Western Australia on Culloton Crescent, Westminster, after looking for an entry point into the state’s liquor retailing scene for several years.

Woolworths subsidiary, Dan Murphy’s, is almost ready to open its first large-format discount outlet in Western Australia on Culloton Crescent, Westminster, after looking for an entry point into the state’s liquor retailing scene for several years.

The arrival of Dan Murphy’s in WA is expected to shake up the liquor retailing market and could spark a price war with main rival 1st Choice Liquor Superstores, owned by Coles.

A Woolworths spokesman told WA Business News that the Westminster outlet would open next month, and it was also looking to open an outlet in Currambine.

WA Business News understands Dan Murphy’s is intending to pre-commit to a new store next to the Woolworths anchored Currambine Marketplace shopping centre on Marmion Avenue, once the sale of the centre is settled.

The store is believed to be at least a year away, however, as Woolworths is in the second phase of an expression of interest campaign through CB Richard Ellis to sell the shopping centre along with Melville Woolworths and Kelmscott Plaza.

Dan Murphy’s has 66 stores nationally, but is yet to open in WA, the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Each ‘big box’ outlet offers customers over 4,000 products and guarantees the cheapest liquor prices in the country.

Woolworths was previously reported to be planning to open its first Dan Murphy’s outlet in WA by August 2004, but it is understood to have met with delays in finding suitable sites and gaining liquor licenses.

In its 2006 annual report, Woolworths said it had opened 15 Dan Murphy’s outlets during the year and had sites and licenses to have in excess of 100 Dan Murphy’s around Australia over the next two to three years.

Main rival, Coles, already has the expansion of its 1st Choice Liquor Superstores into WA firmly in its sights, establishing its first 1st Choice Liquor Superstore at Midland, formerly a Quaffers outlet, and in Riverton.

Coles opened 20 of the large-format stores in the 2007 financial year, taking its total of 1st Choice Liquor Superstores to 39 around Australia.

The outlets boast specialist beer departments, in-store plasma screens and touch-screen information kiosks.

Coles Supermarkets operates 90 of WA’s 473 liquor stores, trading as Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, 1st Choice Liquor Superstores and the Liquorland Hotel Group.

Woolworths has 80 liquor stores, trading as Woolworths and BWS.

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