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Australia’s retail battle causes price of top drop to tumble

It had all the energy and vigour of a heated art auction, but in this case the price went down, not up, and the bidding frenzy wasn’t over a rare van Gogh but the shelf price of Australia’s most prestigious wine – Penfolds Grange.

By the end of Wednesday the wine was put on sale for AUD479 a bottle at Coles, down from the recommended retail price of AUD625. It had started the morning as high as AUD600 at some stores.

The battle was fought mainly between Woolworths and Coles, with new player and US discount store Costco also muscling in to grab the attention of wine aficionados and claim the lowest price.