By Deborah Jackson and Shane T Williams
Doug Misener, the CEO and Executive Director of the Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) has tendered his resignation following 10 years at the helm, naming Gavin Saunders as his replacement.
LMG's new CEO Gavin Saunders
TheShout acquired a letter sent out to LMG members today where Chairman Wayne Bayfield thanked Misener for his service and welcomed Saunders as his successor.
“I am delighted to let you know that we have appointed Gavin Saunders, our current Finance Director, as Doug’s successor. Gavin has been with the business since 2012, when he played an instrumental role in negotiating the 15 year supply chain agreement with ALM. Gavin has an exceptionally strong grounding in the LMG business, particularly in the areas of finance, systems, core processes, and the delivery of our critical information related projects. Gavin is uniquely qualified to take on the stewardship of the total organisation with effect from Monday, November 28.
“On behalf of the board and all LMG members I would like to extend our sincere thanks for all of Doug’s hard work and achievements over the past decade. We are in a stronger position than ever before, we enjoy improved relationships with key suppliers, we have substantially more effective marketing programs, and our member service levels have also improved significantly during Doug’s tenure,” said Bayfield.
TheShout spoke to Saunders following the announcement of his appointment, and he said that he takes over the company while it’s in the best shape it has ever been, and he looks forward to continuing on with that momentum.
"Our marketing and operations teams are in the best shape it has ever been, Damien Page leads the marketing team and has achieved fantastic results for our members along with leading a brand refresh, which will be launched in November. The Group is also in a strong financially position.
“We’ve made significant investment in our systems and making them more effective to gain greater insights through better data. Our marketing programs are working and posting growth based off using data and shopper insights to tailor our offer to our shoppers”
Saunders told TheShout that one of his first projects as CEO will be to roll out a brand refresh for Bottlemart with the catch phrase 'Start at Bottlemart’, a campaign that will position Bottlemart as the ‘occasion specialist’.
"Bottlemart and Sip n Save have a greater index of occasions purchasers and same day consumption. Our new campaign will use these insight to promote our members retail outlets” Saunders explained.
He also said that his main challenge will be to continue growing the company’s marketshare.
"As far as our go-to-market plans and the position of the company, we are in good shape, but it remains a highly competitive market. Our challenge remains to service and promote our members with our position of not compromising on members retail margins . The chains aren’t just going to take their foot off the accelerator and within the independents it’s still going to be a competitive environment,” he said.
"We’re approximately eight per cent of the market at the moment with our stated ambition to be 10 per cent. I think that’s achievable in the medium term and that’s going to come about by servicing our members and helping them grow, but also by providing that solution to the rest of the independent industry and getting more of the independents on the LMG platform so that they can also benefit from the programs in place and be part of a national independent retailer which is owned and controlled by all of its members."