Supermarket Deals Killing The Traditional Booze Cruise

UK supermarkets are killing off the traditional British booze cruise due to their on-going price wars, it has been revealed.
According to research by The Grocer, cut-price supermarket drink deals and the pound’s recent slump against the euro means consumers are no longer looking to cross the Channel to stock up on cheap beer as it is now more expensive in France than at the local supermarket .
Alcohol on offer at the big four supermarket chains is now so competitively priced that even their Calais-based drink warehouses cannot match it for value.
For example, a 24-pack of John Smith Extra Smooth currently costs £18.05 at Tesco Calais and £18.99 at Sainsburys Calais, but both retailers sell it for £10 per 15-pack in the UK – equal to just 67p per can.
UK Tesco stores also sell 24-packs of Foster’s cheaper than Tesco Calais, while Sainsbury’s UK stores undercut their Calais counterpart on Smirnoff Blue vodka (1 litre) by £3.64 per litre bottle.
Other brands such as Carlsberg, Bombay Sapphire and Corona are also cheaper in the UK than Calais, and other drinks are only marginally more expensive.
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “We have great value promotions on a number of lines in UK stores so there will be occasions when UK store prices are cheaper than those across the Channel.”
However, she added that middle-class shoppers were still heading to Calais for wine and Champagne bargains as prices remain lower across the border.
The fall in Calais customer numbers was highlighted in June when Majestic Wine revealed its Calais warehouse had seen a big drop in trade with transactions down 27 per cent and typical spend down 7 per cent.
Commenting on the findings, a spokesman for The Grocer magazine said: “While the plummeting pound was blamed, it is the depth of below-cost supermarket promotions that have really scuppered the viability of the booze cruise.”
“Factor in the ferry, petrol and time and it becomes clear trips to France just to cram alcohol into every nook and cranny of the car are doomed.”