The 2019 IBA Trade Workshop closed on Wednesday night, culminating in the presentation of their annual awards.

In the last business session of the conference, speakers rotated throughout three rooms of attendees, with talks centering on the conference theme “purpose, passion, partnership,” with a focus on localisation. The sessions were interactive, featuring Q&A sessions after each talk for delegates to get advice from the speakers, which included Matt Michalewicz, Norelle Goldring and Rick Wilson.

Wednesday’s lunch was then held on the lawn of The Star, sponsored by Asahi Premium Beverages, Brown Family Wine Group and Campari Group.

Delegates then met in the evening at The Star’s event space and were broken into their state groups for the presentation of the IBA Five Star Retailer of the Year awards. A top store for each banner was recognised for each state, as well as an overall state winner. These state winners formed the finalists for the National Retailer of the Year Award, presented later that night at the gala dinner.

National Retail Operations Manager Phil Ritchie explained how the awards worked earlier in the day.

“Your BDMs [Brand Development Managers] have been tasked with conducting a five star audit on every venue each quarter to assist retailers to be the very best they can be and ensure we all maintain our brand standards,” Ritchie explained with a video presentation.

“It’s these audits that identify our consistent and very best retailers that we put up in lights at our IBA trade workshop.”

After the state awards sessions, delegates moved on to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for the farewell gala dinner. Sponsored by Lion, Treasury Wine Estates and Diageo, it featured a sit down meal, an aerial silk acrobatic performance and a dancefloor fuelled by Furnace and the Fundamentals.

Speaking at the finale event, ALM CEO Chris Baddock said he’s highly impressed with all the retailers under the IBA banners across the country.

“During the now ten weeks that I’ve been in the role, I’ve just been amazed by the quality of our stores,” he said.

“They are best in the liquor industry and they’re best in class. It’s not just the look of the store, it is the passion that storekeepers bring to the consumer.”

The coveted National Retailer of the Year award went to Patrick Rock’s Cellarbrations Baldivis in WA, with its manager Richard Orton also taking out the Store Manager of the Year.

Other national awards of the night included Business Development Manager of the Year, awarded to Victoria’s Chris Burnett and Supplier of the Year, awarded to Lion.

The final recognition of the night went to the first ever inductee to the IBA Hall of Fame, Anita Grace of Cellarbrations Newman, in WA.

Closing up the event, Baddock said that all award winners were indication of the great work being done in the industry, and it is something everyone at the conference should be proud of.

“We spoke about purpose. We spoke about passion. And we spoke about partnership… It certainly has been a lot of talk. There certainly has been a lot of examples.”

“I know that we’ve said a lot and I know that I may have given a few promises. That’s the easy stuff, now we are going to go and deliver that. I will promise you that that is what we will strive to do every day, because independents are worth fighting for.”

See the list of retail winners for each state below:

  • NSW & ACT: Cellarbrations Tamworth
  • QLD: Cellarbrations Narangba Valley Tavern
  • VIC: Corowa SUPA IGA Liquor
  • TAS: Cellarbrations Huonville
  • WA: Cellarbrations Baldivis
  • SA: Cellarbrations Mount Barker
  • NT: The Bottle-O Pit Lane

You can also read our recap of the first half of the conference here, and see our story on the IBA Hall Of Fame here.

Images by Adam Creed.

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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