According to Endeavour Group CEO and Managing Director Steve Donohue, being an inherently social nation makes for a resilient liquor industry, despite a challenging year.

“Across our span of businesses, the consistent theme for 2023 was that Australians continued to enjoy social occasions,” he said.

“Customers have always expected market-leading value from our offers and experiences, but quality and discovery, particularly new drinks, remained an important trend.

“Customers are always our number one priority, and our job is to deliver them a best-in-class offering that meets their needs for value and convenience.

“Across FY23, we invested in growing our network to be closer to our customers through the addition of eight new Dan Murphy’s stores, 18 new BWS stores and 11 hotels. We also invested in improving our network, with 122 store renewals and 46 hotel renewals.”

In 2023, as well as acquiring Margaret River winery Cape Mentelle, a welcome addition to the Paragon Wine Estates portfolio, Endeavour also launched its new BWS 4.0 store format, with a mobile point-of-sale system, increased refrigeration, and new merchandising designs.

Dan Murphy’s Cellar, Lane Cove

Technological advancements

At Endeavour Group, the integration of AI initiatives has been a focus across various parts of the business to improve customer experience.

“When you consider the number of locations and offers we have, there is an enormous amount of data that we can use to improve customer experiences,” says Donohue.

“I’m always enthusiastic about anything that makes a customer’s experience with us more memorable and increasingly personalised.

“Whether it’s to assist our activity-based rostering process, which reduces administrative tasks for team members and allows them to spend more time face-to-face with customers, or verifying we are delivering the lowest prices in line with our famous Dan Murphy’s Lowest Liquor Price Guarantee.

“No two customers are the same, and it’s our job to engage with them as individuals. If we can better understand our customers, we can tailor the experience to suit their needs.”

Making further advancements in technology, Donohue also reported a significant uptake in app memberships.

“My Dan’s membership has grown by 15.6 per cent to 5.2 million active users, with a scan rate of 79 per cent, up on the previous year of 70 per cent, and the BWS app has reached a peak of 400,000 active monthly users.

“About 35 per cent of customers spend time online researching products before they make choices on what to buy. Similarly, we also know that around 90 per cent will use online search before they visit a bricks and mortar store. Customers expect curated, personalised experiences on all digital platforms, which remains a focus for us across the Group.”

Shopping habits

With so many external factors influencing the liquor landscape, Endeavour Group’s approach is to pay close attention to consumers, the industry’s biggest growth and trend drivers.

“Despite even more focus on great value, consumers are still searching for new things to try. This reinforces our belief that innovation remains key, regardless of broader economic trends,” says Donohue.

“We’ve added 2,200 new products to our range in the last year alone and smaller producers now make up more than 90 per cent of our total suppliers.”

This article originally appeared in the 2024 Leaders Forum issue of National Liquor News.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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