By James Wells – publisher, TheShout

The new head of liquor at Coles, Greg Davis, has outlined what his key aims will be in the role after just one day in the job.

Davis, the former Coles general manager of Fresh Foods, was promoted to the role after the new head of Coles supermarkets, John Durkan, announced a reshuffle this week that saw the former general manager of liquor, Andrew Charlton, relocated to a business development role within the Wesfarmers office.

In a brief interview yesterday with TheShout, Davis outlined how he will settle into his new role.

“Having started the job today, my priority for the next few weeks is to get out to stores and talk to customers and team members about what they think of the business,” said Davis.

“I also want to meet with our suppliers who are obviously key to the success of Coles Liquor. One of the things I am particularly proud of from my time in fresh produce is the work we have done to build sustainable long-term partnerships with suppliers, so that we can innovate and offer customers outstanding value, great quality and convenience.

"I hope that this will also be a feature of our supplier relationships in the liquor business.”

Last Friday, Coles liquor was the subject of intense industry speculation that its Vintage Cellars chain was being targeted by private equity buyers who were looking to purchase the 77-store chain for $300 million.

Durkan has previously told analysts that the recent returns from the liquor business have not been acceptable and that a major restructure should be expected.

Who is Greg Davis?

The question that several liquor industry executives have been asking over the last day or so is: “Who is Greg Davis?”

Educated at the University of Newcastle, Davis completed a bachelor of Commerce and Economics from 1986 to 1991.

Davis could be described as a ‘lifer’ when it comes to supermarkets and fast moving consumer goods.

Starting off working for Franklins exactly 20 years ago, as a ‘Retail Executive’, Davis was responsible for a number of areas of the business during his five year stint including roles as ‘Promotions and Marketing Manager’, ‘Category Manager Food and Non-Food’, ‘Grocery and Private Label Buyer’ and ‘Big Fresh Store Operations’.

In October 1999, Davis moved to Aldi as a buying director and in January 2004 he was promoted to Group Buying Director.

After almost 10 years with Aldi, Davis joined Coles in September 2009 and since then he has risen quickly through the ranks with short stints in a number of roles.

Davis was initially appointed as General Manager – Merchandise Support and eight months later he became General Manager – Fresh Produce and Bakery until he was promoted to General Manager – Fresh Foods a year ago.

This week he was promoted to the role of Coles liquor director which he commenced yesterday.

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The Shout Team

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

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  1. First thing he did was get his head of trading to fire most of the people with liquor experience, then say it will take 5 years to turn around. The head of trading was also fired last week.

    Watch out Coles! There’s an iceberg ahead!

    Coles liquor must be for sales by now?

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