By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News

The Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) has announced the five finalists in the running for the 2016 Young Liquor Retailer of the Year award.

Finalists include Ian Boyle from Kemenys in NSW, who was last year's runner-up. He is up against James Mackay from Liquor Barons Morely, Western Australia; Luke Griffis from Ashfield Mall Cellars and Cutty Cellars, Crows Nest NSW; Rebecca Polley from BWS Stafford, Queensland; and Matt Shiner from Red Bottle Sussex Street, Sydney NSW.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 27 July at the Sheraton Grand Mirage on the Gold Coast at the 2016 ALSA Conference Gala Dinner.

The award provides a national opportunity for young liquor retailers from around the country to enter into a merit based awards program, with the winner being awarded a place on the 2017 ALSA International Retail Study Tour to Europe in March.

Krystal Hall from BWS Dianella Plaza in Perth was the winner of the inaugural Young Liquor Retailer award last year and called her time on this year's Study Tour to Japan "incredible".

Hall told TheShout at the time: "It's a tremendous honour [to be named Young Retailer of the Year] and I'm grateful to have been chosen among so many other deserving candidates. I'm thankful to ALSA and all involved for extending this opportunity my way. I'm also grateful for the support of my team in-store, everyone at BWS and our suppliers without whome I could have never achieved this."

ALSA CEO Terry Mott said: “The award was established last year to recognise and reward exceptional young liquor retailers, and to promote the diversity of career opportunities available in retail liquor. 

"ALSA is committed to encouraging and supporting professional and responsible development of our future retailers and this is a massive opportunity for a young liquor retailer to experience an international retailing environment, and learn along with a group of senior professional industry executives”.

The Awards program is targeted at staff members who have at least 18 months' experience in the sector and a maximum age of 30-years-old to encourage up-and-coming young applicants.

The program is designed to stimulate bright young retail liquor staff to further their career opportunities in the retail liquor sector and it complements the professional development initiatives of ALSA’s online training programs available under ALSA-TRAIN and the retail liquor knowledgebase ALSA Retail Insights.

Finalists also have the opportunity to enter into the National Retailers Association (NRA) Young Retailer of the Year Awards for the following year, a national awards program with entrants from all forms of general retail environments.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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