Alcohol prices before and after the election - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/5/09

The Cost of Competition: Alcohol prices before and after the election

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It was one of the selling points in the May alcohol election and most customers felt competition would push the price of packaged alcohol and liquor to lower levels.

Well, after months of waiting for store shelves to be filled is there a difference? Are you getting a better bargain now that you can get these items at grocery and convenience stores?

Before the May 9th alcohol election, Lubbock County Wins compared the prices of five items found at stores on The Strip to those in Austin.

Here's a look at what they found:

Here in Lubbock, a case of Miller Lite in bottles was almost 33% more expensive than in Austin; a case of Shiner Bock was 28% more; and a 1.75 liter of Crown Royal was 32% higher when purchased on The Strip. Probably the most shocking was how much you would pay for a bottle of Llano Estacado wine sold just a few miles away from where it was made - Merlot and Chardonnay were nearly 50% more expensive in the Hub City than in Austin.

So now that you can buy alcohol virtually anywhere in Lubbock, what has competition done to prices? Everyone we spoke with said they noticed the drop:

  • "I've seen prices go down a lot from all the competition. So, it's a good thing."
  • "Cheaper.A whole lot cheaper."
  • "Like this particular bottle I'm buying, it's at least $1.50 less than what it was at The Strip."

So, we took our list of prices to The Strip and multiple other locations to check out the differences. Before the 24 pack of Miller Lite was $22.99 and now it's $18.69. That's a 23% decrease. Shiner Bock was $26.98 back in May and is now $22.98 - 17% cheaper. Crown was $59.99 and is now $11 cheaper at $53.97.

 The biggest drop in prices: both Llano Merlot and Llano Chardonnay. They were $15.99 and now you can find it practically anywhere for $11.99 - 33% less than it was just six months ago. 

So is cut in cost caused by competition? Most likely, but buyers say it's not the only positive outcome of the election.

  • "WhatI like is the convenience. Idon't have to drive 10 minutes anymore. It's just down the street."
  • "I like the convenience of being able to drive in townto get and not all the way out at The Strip. (That) probably saves another $2 or $3 in gasoline."
  • "NowI don't have to go far to get it."

We contacted business owners on The Strip, but they were unavailable to comment about drop in prices. Although we know prices dropped, they are still higher in Lubbock than in Austin.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

11/4/09
Some Lubbock stores already have TABC violations
It's been almost 2 months since Lubbock stores started selling alcohol, which was a major change that had many Lubbockites worried. Already the TABC has found some stores with violations.

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