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Quarter of booze sold in Lurgan offies is Buckfast

The Wine Company, Lurgan Town Centre, manager, Rachelle Banks, with some of the vast amount of Buckfast Tonic Wine sold each week. INLM05-206.

The Wine Company, Lurgan Town Centre, manager, Rachelle Banks, with some of the vast amount of Buckfast Tonic Wine sold each week. INLM05-206.

A survey of off licences in the town has revealed that Buckfast, known locally as Lurgan Champagne, accounts for a quarter of sales.

In one local supermarket staff said Buckfast was the second biggest seller behind milk.

At the weekend an internet rumour about the demise of Buckfast tonic wine sent some of the town’s tipplers into a frenzy to get their hands of the last remaining supplies.

Much to the relief of lovers of Buckfast Abbey’s finest, the story was a fake and ‘Buckie’ is still flowing freely in Lurgan and its surrounds.

According to the fanciful story circulating on social media sites, the main winery at Buckfast Abbey had been closed due to shipping and manufacturing costs and there was only about 12 full shipments left to be distributed across the UK and Ireland.

In light of the scare, this week the ‘MAIL’ spoke to local off licences to find out how just how much Buckfast the people of Lurgan consume.

Assistant Manager at Morrow’s Supervalu in Flush Place Jenny McGaffin said: “Buckfast would be our second biggest seller behind milk.”

Last week the off sales were selling Buckfast at two for £11.50. “We run that offer from time to time and it always proves popular here,” said Jenny.

Commenting on the fake story circulating on social media she said: “There would have been a riot here if Buckfast ran out.”

Chris Watson, manager of The International off sales in Castle Lane said: “Buckfast would account for about 25% of our sales. The next biggest seller after that would be Tennent’s.

“We do hampers at Christmas time but, by and large, Buckfast promotes itself.

“Sales are pretty constant with a spike on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. We can order it in by the palette without any problem of shifting it.”

Rachelle Banks of the Wine Company in High Street said: “Buckfast would easily account for a quarter of our sales.

“We don’t even have it on display. It stays under the counter in a chiller. I can think of only four customers who don’t like their Buckie chilled.

“Because it’s our biggest seller it’s easier to have it at the counter.”

She added: “You could sell 80 palattes a week between bottles and half bottles. In our Belfast outlets you might only sell two cases a week, so it’s definitely a Lurgan thing.”

 

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