Liquor Barons is preparing to rollout its Vision 2020 plans in September, which will include the relaunch of its loyalty program as Barons Locals.

Vision 2020 also includes the strengthening of Liquor Barons’ ‘locals supporting locals’ strategy and the launch of new IT infrastructure, including a phone app for members and a new website.

Chris O’Brien, the General Manager of Liquor Barons, told National Liquor News that while COVID-19 had forced the cooperative to postpone the rollout of their Vision 2020 plans, it also gave them the opportunity to “reassess our position in the marketplace”.

Liquor Barons is enjoying a “golden era” in terms of profitability and growth. The cooperative currently has a store count in the low 80s across Western Australia, with plenty more in the pipeline.

“We’re seeing great interest from well run independent stores in Western Australia,” says O’Brien.

“In having a look at why our model is so successful and so attractive to independent retailers, there’s a range of things. Liquor Barons is an incredibly strong consumer brand in Western Australia. That’s undeniable.

“Our stores are more profitable trading as Liquor Barons in that our margins are significantly higher than the competitive set.

“Our model offers the flexibility that enables a store to hone in on their community and range a set of products that’s appropriate to their community. We get that one size doesn’t fit all. It’s all about local, local and more local. We’re very aware that what works in one suburb doesn’t work in another suburb. And our model not only allows this but also encourages the storeowner to customise their range to suit the local community.

“So you talk about brand, you talk about margin, and you talk about flexibility. There’s three key points that are driving our success today.”

And according to O’Brien, the postponement of the rollout has allowed Liquor Barons to double down on these key strengths and up-weight resources to the Vision 2020 strategy.

“It’s a huge piece of work. Liquor Barons today has this massive loyalty program. We’ve got more than 110,000 members. We’ve had that for 20 years,” he says.

“We’ve got a full scan system and exceptional data capability. So what we’re doing as part of Vision 2020 is implementing the next generation of all these systems. We’re adding to that an ultra convenience delivery model for those stores that want it.

“We’re up-weighting the technology piece with the loyalty program and rebranding and relaunching it from The Advantage Club to Barons Locals.

“And we’re further integrating our data systems to be all encompassing in terms of bringing together our customers, stores, head office, suppliers and wholesale into a single database, all the information. So we have consumer and customer, sales and purchase information all held in a single database.”

O’Brien sums it up best, saying “Liquor Barons is enjoying a golden era at the moment”. And there is no doubt that with the rollout of Vision 2020 that growth looks set to continue.

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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