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Scott Jagow: They’re just about to pop the bubbly in New Zealand — it’s seven minutes to midnight. But I’m guessing most people are drinking the cheap stuff. Champagne sales are way down in this economy. Jean-Luc Renault has more.
Jean-Luc Renault: Los Angeles wine retailer Jim Knight says far fewer customers are buying champagne these days.
Jim Knight: Champagne sales in dollar sales were down 33 percent, which was a lot more than what the overall store was down.
Demand for bubbly has gone flat as many consumers cut back on luxury items. Trade group Champagne USA reports stateside shipments fell by 17 percent this year. That’s the first time the number has dropped in five years. But that’s good news for people whose Champagne tastes remain in tact.
Tom Pirko is president of the consulting firm Bevmark. He says steep discounts on unsold Champagne have touched off a buyers market.
Tom Pirko: I’ve probably bought four or five cases within the past two weeks, because the deals are irresistible.
Now there’s something worth toasting this New Year’s Eve.
In Los Angeles, I’m Jean-Luc Renault for Marketplace.
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