In the 2023 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Liquor Legends reflected on how stellar growth figures in 2022 have paved the way for expansion in the year ahead.

2022 was a landmark year for Liquor Legends, in which it celebrated 30 years of operation. Managing Director, John Carmody, noted the significance of this milestone, and explained why he thought the business had enjoyed such prolonged success.

“It was a massive milestone celebrating 30 years of Liquor Legends. It has been incredibly rewarding creating a business which has a legendary team who deliver extraordinary service and support to our members and suppliers,” he said.

“From the very start we have focused on delivering corporate services (point of sale systems, payroll and bookkeeping) more efficiently and marketing to drive sales in-store, online and on-premise (first party data, loyalty program, digital and online).

“We look at what’s needed and listen to the needs of our members and suppliers to strive to be the best imaginable partner.”

And for Carmody, the best way to mark this achievement was by reconnecting with the Liquor Legends community at its annual conference.

“An absolute highlight [of 2022] was bringing over 400 members, supply partners and team together for the first time in three years at our national conference. It was a great reunion to share past performance and future vision and a fitting way to celebrate the 30th birthday of Liquor Legends,” he said.

“My passion has never been stronger to grow our business to better support our members and suppliers.”

Pleasing performance paves the way into 2023

Liquor Legends enjoyed double digit growth in important metrics across the board, with Carmody noting: “Group sales are up by 15 per cent versus last year, and group gross profits further up by +19 per cent.

“We have more shoppers, as evident by our transactions growth by +10 per cent; they are spending more as well, as average transaction size is up by +5.0 per cent. Our sales are supported by our strong rewards membership numbers, which have exceeded 710k in the past year.”

A crucial area of development over the course of the year was online shopping, which saw significant progress.

“An important source of growth is from our e-commerce sales, which have increased exponentially by 72 per cent versus last year. Shoppers are trading to higher priced categories, which has diversified our sales portfolio and boosted our gross profit in the online space,” Carmody said.

“[This year], we’re focussing our efforts on enhancing the user experience on our website, following collaborative advice direct from members to remain leaders in this space. Liquor Legends has come a long way from our website’s first launch, however 2023 will see a complete overhaul of how we utilise this space visually and technically.

“This space is still relatively new to us, but what we’ve achieved this past year is extremely powerful in the independent league. Having an e-commerce presence is essential – if you don’t show up, someone else will.”

Expansion is definitely a key theme for Liquor Legends in 2023, after adding more than 50 new members in 2022. The loyalty program is also set for milestone growth, as Liquor Legends utilises leverages first party data positively to drive the program’s expansion towards one million rewards members.

Business as usual for the new year

Carmody said the main ambition for 2023 is somewhat simple: continuing to maintain current performance.

“Growing our members’ gross profits will remain number one,” Carmody says.

“Coming off a strong 2022, I am confident we have the plans and strategies in place to replicate and add to the performance we’ve seen.”

This article is a sneak peak from the 2023 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, out next week.

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