By James Atkinson

The bottleshops operated by Sydney-based Redcape Hotel Group, which purchased the majority of the NLG hotels, are all being rebranded as Liquor Stax.

The partnership concludes Redcape's relationship with Independent Brands Australia (IBA) under which the formerly NLG-operated retail outlets were part of IBA's Cellarbrations banner group.

"We were with IBA for around five years and the job they did for us over that period of time was tremendous, so the decision to move was not an easy one," Alistair Flower, Redcape Hotel Group's general manager of operations told TheShout.

"But we felt that we needed to have a lot more control over the direction we are heading in the future. The Liquor Stax model really dovetails in to our future plans and the direction we want to head."

Flower said the new contract for Redcape's network of 19 outlets – which is expected to be expanded in the coming months – followed a competitive tender between the incumbent IBA and all other major banner groups, "not only in NSW, but national groups as well".

"It was a long and investigative process that required a lot of research from our end," he said. 

"I must say that all of the presentations from each of the banner group principals were of the highest quality and reflects on how professional this side of the business is now," Flower added.

"It is not just about putting up a banner-branded sign and placing a few posters around a store anymore, it is all about the marketing of the retail brand and to this end the industry has improved immensely over the past five years."

IBA's parent company, Metcash subsidiary Australian Liquor Marketers, will continue to supply liquor to the Redcape outlets, which are already in the process of being rebranded.

"We aim to have this project completed prior to Christmas," Flower said.

Liquor Stax general manager Guy Bohan declined to comment on the specifics of the deal, but told TheShout it is "a great opportunity for both parties to improve our businesses".

The Shout Team

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

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