The Independent Liquor Group (ILG) is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth in terms of value, volume, and to its membership base.

Since July 2022, the cooperative has welcomed more than 500 new members, with this number increasing steadily each month. So, to maintain the high level of service members have come to expect from ILG, earlier this year, the group formed a new Trading Department under the leadership of Trading Manager, Tony Oliverio.

The Trading Department includes Category Managers across Wine, Beer/Cider, and Sprits/RTD supported by a dedicated promotions team. It also includes a Commercial Analyst, E-Commerce and Trade Marketing Co-ordinator, and a Member Services Team.

During the recent ILG Amsterdam-Paris 2023 Study Tour, National Liquor News caught up with Oliverio to learn more about the Trading Department, and the work it is doing to help bring more customers into ILG outlets.

He said that a refresh of the current press advertisements and print catalogues has been supported by new fortnightly digital catalogues, which bring to light the key promotional activities and activations. These are key to the success of driving more customers to ILG outlets more often.

This fortnightly promotional program is also being supported by the introduction in late September of POS promotional kits.

As Oliverio explains: “A member will receive all the POS material for each fortnightly promotion, these include external posters, internal ticketing, and supplier POS for in-store activations, and members will be sent a POS package with everything that they need to execute each promotion.

“Feedback from members has been that at times they get too busy to print out promotional material, so by sending them these POS packs we are simplifying the process and saving them time by providing everything they need right there at their fingertips. All they need to do is put it up in their stores.

“Overall, from a promotional and marketing perspective we are very mindful of the current trading conditions as well the economic challenges faced by customers, so every decision we make is important as the members rely on us to deliver a promotional program that allows them to be competitive but also to deliver margin expectation, particularly around promotional pricing.

“It’s exciting times. We’ve got a lot to do, but we’re very confident we’ll be able to deliver a promotional and marketing program that will allow us to drive more customers more often to our stores.”

ILG is also trialling digital pricing, which will simplify ticket pricing within stores and enable prices to be updated with the flick of a button.

Olivero says: “This is being trialled in two stores at present and working extremely well. The time that is saved is incredible, particularly when you think about busy ticketing periods like CPI and fortnightly promotional changeovers. Opportunities with this technology are endless.”

While the digital pricing is currently only being trialled in two stores, Oliverio says that ILG is looking to have this available as an option for all members within the next six months.

Another initiative being trialled by ILG is a digital wallet, which Oliverio describes as an “instant reward” program for customers.

“What we’ve been able to do is offer customers a QR coded voucher they can use at their local ILG outlet to redeem a special offer. When the customer comes in, they scan a QR Code, which then activates the discount or offer. At this point the voucher is burnt meaning they won’t be able to use the same voucher again.  

“The beauty of this program is that it is available to all members irrespective of their POS system, which has been a barrier in the past. One of our Fleet Street stores will trial this concept soon before being made more widely available to ILG members.”

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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