In this week’s instalment of citizen journalism, Liquor Stores Association (LSA) of NSW president Giuseppe Minissale gives his views on how he sees the organisation evolving over the next five to ten years. This is an extract from an interview with Minissale published in the newly launched Action Packed, the official magazine of the LSA in NSW.

“Over the next 5 – 10 years I see the LSA NSW having a much stronger voice in overall industry issues, while other industry sector groups who have taken much of the publicity in the past may find themselves losing that position, unless they address the emerging regulatory, community and commercial environment.

I believe the retail liquor store sector will have increasingly more skin in the game and will subsequently be under more pressure from anti-alcohol and health advocacy groups and we will need to move with the changing attitudes to stay ahead of the game.  LSA NSW needs every operator to be involved with the Association. It doesn’t matter whether they are a chain store, member of a banner group, large independent retailer or a small operator in the middle of regional NSW. Everyone needs to have some skin in the game and have their point of view heard and represented.

One of the big issues we face is that the industry itself hasn’t had a lot of big picture or long term strategy thinking players.  Short-sighted retailers operating for short term gain and do not consider the impact or damage they are doing to their longer term position by their trading approach and in some cases their purchasing behaviour.  The LSA NSW needs the support of all operators to be able to fight the issues on your behalf and it’s vitally important that we all stand together as one voice without allowing ‘divide and conquer’ mentality to seep in – or we’re finished.

A perfect example is the recent RTD issue, while we were talking to manufacturers for almost a year before the government took action on taxation.  In hindsight we could have taken a more proactive stance both publicly and with our suppliers.

We felt that the issue was in the domain of the manufacturers to take action, whereas in reality we should have been taking the initiative to set out what we thought was the responsible thing to do.  I believe that if we had our promotional guidelines in place and we acted as an industry around common sense approaches, we may have been able to have some real impact. We should be the ones taking the suppliers to task, not leaving it to the Government and there mat be other product, packaging and promotional areas where we could have been or should be more proactive in the future.

We’re not where we need to be but were getting there. Feedback and buy-in from industry and the retailers is important, is beginning to happen and we definitely need more of this.”

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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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