In the 2021 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Liquor Legends Managing Director John Carmody spoke about the strong results in 2020 and what this means for 2021.

Liquor Legends finished off 2020 in style, posting its largest month of sales on record in December. Managing Director John Carmody attributed the year’s overall success to the company’s ability to react and remain nimble throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Liquor Legends’ COVID solutions coupled with its loyal rewards members played a key part in driving a shopping increase of 19 per cent in 2020, compared to 2019.

“We have local strategies tailored to suit our customer needs. Our business and support to members from lockdown is stronger than ever with new facets of our business being realised which never existed before,” Carmody said.

“Liquor Legends is proud to have achieved results ahead of market, delivering more than 27 per cent sales growth to our like-for-like retailers.

“May to December delivered sales growth on average of more than 37 per cent, with December 2020 seeing our most sales ever.”

Liquor Legends has set ambitious goals in 2021, including delivering return on investment and profitability, supporting local, growing the rewards database, and increasing brand loyalty.

“[It’s] safe to say our new year goals are bigger than ever but with a clear and controlled strategy,” Carmody said.

“We have pressed our thumbs on the green button which means there is no turning back. Liquor Legends aims to deliver ultimate personalisation which will increase sales and re-engagement.”

Carmody is hoping Liquor Legends can continue to remain in front of its competitors.

“We are not followers; we are forward thinkers. We love to challenge the status quo and consistently improve our processes. We are the new generation ready to promise industry relevance and set the pace for years to come,” he said.

In 2020, Liquor Legends posted growth in several liquor categories. Most notably, its RTD sales increased more than 61 per cent between March and December, and beer also delivered a sales growth of more than 28 per cent. Carmody further attributes this success to the evolution of e-commerce in the industry.

“Gone is the traditional path to purchase. The rise of mobile and the ‘always on’ shopper has fractured the traditional consumer journey into hundreds of real-time event driven interactions or micro moments,” he said.

“The winning strategy for building a strong brand is to meet today’s connected consumers in those micro moments.”

Caution ahead

Although consumer trends in 2020 have largely boosted sales growth for off-premise retail, Carmody warns businesses to be ready to counter a changing environment.

“As the level of government assistance subsides and consumer behaviours continue to change, liquor retailers need to be adequately prepared for harder trading conditions in the months ahead,” Carmody said.

“The increased difficulty facing retailers may also be compounded by further regulatory intervention as state and territory governments contemplate wholescale changes to their respective Liquor Acts, including in and around online alcohol deliveries.”

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