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UK importer commits to price freeze

British wine importer Hallgarten Druitt is this year freezing prices for the retailers it supplies, with the company’s managing director pointing to cost savings elsewhere as the reason.

Hallgarten Druit MD Andrew Bewes (Photo: LinkedIn)

Speaking to Off License NewsDruitt MD Andrew Bewes said that “for once we will not have to put prices up”, as favourable freight costs and currency movements have greeted the trade so far this year.

He said, “The most interesting thing in the trade at the moment is where we all are on price. Everybody is pulling in the same direction.

“On the back of improved foreign exchange and improved freight prices won’t rise. We will pass considerable savings on to customers, after a long time of it going one way,” he said.

Bewes comments come less than two weeks ahead of the 2015 Budget, potentially the last of Chancellor George Osborne’s time in the Treasury as the country prepares for May’s general election.

There are expectations of a Budget give-away ahead of the election as a way of winning over floating voters to the Conservatives. Such an approach may already have been witnessed, as yesterday reports revealed there will very likely be a further cut to beer duty on the back of two years of price reductions and the ending of the duty escalator.

There are hopes in the industry that similar cuts will be granted to the wine and spirits industries.

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