Over the past couple of days, YYC Wine reported what I considered to be a significant pricing discrepancy between e-offers from 2 prominent Calgary wine retailers. On July 15th 2014, both released “sale” e-offers via their respective newsletter and social media feeds for the 2010 Penfold’s St. Henri’s Shiraz; one at $74.80 per bottle and the other at $59.99. YYC Wine made light of this discrepancy and commented on the 20% + difference in sale price, citing both retailers in a communication back to our followers.
The backlash and name calling after came swiftly where YYC Wine have been dubbed the price police, snitches and most recently a “quasi-pundit”. I’m not sure how making an observation on publicly distributed communication makes me a cop or a snitch but we are all entitled to our opinions. Since the time of our communication, store #1 at the $74.80 ask has reduced their pricing further down to $57.99 a bottle and will reflect this new pricing for all existing orders. This is admirable and I hope it helps with client retention.
Regardless of situation, wine is a commodity and unless retailers are offering some sort of competitive differentiation (free shipping, unique or rare product), 9 out of 10 times the one with the lowest price makes the sale. This is especially true when the offer comes in via electronic communications or social media where in store benefits for example, do not apply. Competitive pricing in a competitive market only makes sense and if consistent margins are something that are unwilling to be compromised on, no one should be surprised when customers decide to buy elsewhere. Don’t blame the observers on that, rather maybe spend some time peering into a mirror to figure out fault.