At the 2019 Independent Brands Australia (IBA)  trade workshop, Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) CEO Chris Baddock encouraged attendees “to think about our purpose – championing successful independents, our passion – independents are worth fighting for and finally our partnership as it’s the only way we can achieve together”.

This core theme is also symbolic of ALM’s actions and attitudes over the past year, despite it being full of change and transformation. Baddock said these values will be the driver for the organisation in 2020 as well.

He said there is an “absolute focus on enabling our retail partners to service their customers through the best store in town, efficient and effective supply chain, a fair retail price for all, building a robust omni-channel and building long term partnerships with suppliers, retailers, contract customers and across the network”.

In pushing for this, several opportunities will be available to ALM, including some that are challenging.

Baddock said that the goal is to always ensure that retailers can “service their customers’ needs and do this better than anyone else by using their localised services to the communities they work, live and shop in”.

Throughout Baddock’s transition into his role as CEO in 2019, he has learned about the best ways that ALM can help their retailers, by reflecting on the past.

“All retailers have been very welcoming, helping me get to know the business, sharing their experiences, their needs and at times sharing the history of ALM with the good and the less than good to enable me to respect the past and think of ways in which we can embrace the future.

“This has been a great experience, the independent channel is vibrant and well positioned to capture the ever increasing need for convenience. The ability of our retailers to move quickly to cater for convenient shopping experiences amazes me… This makes me determined to build programs which enable retailers to keep on innovating.”

In line with ALM’s passion to fight for independent retailers, they are also campaigning alongside industry bodies to ensure responsible retailing of drinks. Innovation around sociability and moderation will prove key in this regard to maintain the sustainability of the industry.

One of the ways that ALM and their retailers may be working together for innovation in 2020 could be in the online sphere, with Baddock hinting to “watch this space”.

“We have some very exciting plans which will be shared with the market during the year. We are working with retailers first, asking them for input to ensure together we deliver a platform which is right for today and can also grow as technology changes,” Baddock said.

Regardless of how the industry changes in 2020, what will remain for ALM is the same desire to champion successful independents.

As Baddock said: “Doing this for family businesses excites the team and I, as we say independents are worth fighting for – now that’s something that gets me jumping out of bed and embracing the day.”

This story was written for the National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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