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The Whisky List

Indies vs chains: online whisky buying habits of Australians

For immediate release

The Whisky List releases infographic reviewing the online whisky buying habits of Australians. 

Independent retailers outperform supermarket chains across three key metrics: exclusive selection, new whiskies launched and lowest prices.


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Sydney, Australia – It is a widely held belief that the big supermarket chains are making it impossible for small, independent retailers to compete and win in the Australian liquor industry. The buying power of the supermarket chains exceeds that of the independents when looking at the big picture, especially when it comes to beer and wine. However a recent report by The Whisky List has noted a major trend towards independent retailers for online whisky purchases.

The Whisky List’s Indies vs Chains 2019 Report illustrates the success independent retailers have recently had selling whisky digitally in Australia against supermarket chains. Although variances inevitably exist on an individual retailer level, at aggregate levels the results for FY2018/19 show that independent retailers far outperform chains across three key areas: product exclusivity, access to new products and price. 

Supermarket chains captured 73% of all alcohol sales in FY18/19 in Australia. Despite facing such mighty competition, online independent retailers are expanding dramatically into the Australian liquor industry, with more stores open than ever. Their dominance in the whisky niche specifically is arguably due to the points of difference they offer as compared to chains. Indies (as an aggregate) stock a more diverse range from both overseas and Australian whisky producers with both exclusivity deals and access to more new releases from the brands, all whilst remaining highly competitive on price.

The infographic details whisky stocked by country of origin, listing the number of Scotch Whisky, Japanese and Australian Whiskies and American Whiskey available, with independents ahead of chains when it comes to range diversity and availability for consumers. 


The Whisky List also announced results for the value of tracked sales from its website, with 93% of users purchasing whisky from independents over chains, valued at $846,000. When surveyed, users of The Whisky List voted 85% in favour of “prefer purchasing from an online independent bottleshop vs supermarket chain.” 

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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but figures and industry statistics may have changed. Please see updated product information on's pages for the current correct information. 

About The Whisky List 

The Whisky List is Australia’s #1 whisky website. Since launching in 2018, The Whisky List has helped over 80,000 Aussies find their next bottle of whisky from 4,800+ bottles across 50+ retailers. Discover your next whisky at