Increased transparency of wine prices means retailers are no longer able to charge excessive prices, a new Wine-Searcher report has shown.
Tracing the price trends of more than 200,000 wines sold in the U.S. over the last decade, the study reveals significant changes in wine-pricing trends during that time.
In 2013, there is greater uniformity of wine pricing worldwide than in 2003, according to Wine-Searcher data. The results show a 12 percent reduction in the variability of prices between wine merchants. In other words, the difference in the prices offered by any given merchants for the same wine in 2013 is significantly smaller than it was a decade ago.
The second point of difference is that the distribution of prices is less skewed than ever before. In 2003, not only was there greater variability in prices, but the number of merchants who attempted to charge significantly higher than the mid-price was considerably greater than it is today.
Just 10 years ago, 27 percent of merchants listed on Wine-Searcher were listing prices that were 25 percent higher than the mid-price. Today, this percentage has fallen sharply to 7 percent. As many as one in five merchants attempted to charge 40 percent more than the mid-price in 2003; today, just 2 percent of retailers try to impose such a high premium.
Martin Brown, CEO of Wine-Searcher, said: “With greater transparency of prices, wine merchants are more constrained over charging high prices. While the range on many wines is still surprisingly large, it is smaller than it used to be."