Last week, the Australian Liquor Industry Awards (ALIA) took place in Sydney, recognising some of the incredible people, brands, companies and stores in our industry.

One of the major awards in the off-premise section of the night is Liquor Retail Group of the Year, sponsored this year by SouthTrade’s Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey. Finalists and winners are nominated and voted for by the industry, meaning the winning group is one that is recognised by its peers for its great work.

The 2022 Liquor Retail Group of the Year is Bottlemart, part of Liquor Marketing Group (LMG). Gavin Saunders, CEO of LMG, said the win was a great acknowledgement for all of the LMG team and the network of Bottlemart retailers country-wide.

“LMG views our role as a partnership with the retailers to achieve retail excellence – the benefits of focusing on local service and customer connection are clear in our results and this award,” Saunders said.

“We appreciate the support of industry, particularly our supplier partners who have experienced the challenges with us over the past few years of supply challenges and movement restrictions.”

As always, the retail categories of ALIA are hotly contested, with all finalists being high performing examples of excellence in the industry.

Saunders reflected on what gave Bottlemart an edge in such a pool of talent this year, noting: “The quality of our retailers with great promotional execution is the primary driver behind the results being achieved.

“LMG has invested significantly in our store refresh program – we completed 110 refreshed stores by the end of the financial year. Enhancing the store environments along with engaging and targeted promotional programs and pricing has enabled Bottlemart retailers to win shoppers who have discovered the benefits of local service and ranging.”

The store refresh program is one element of how LMG has been demonstrating support for Bottlemart retailers as of late. It’s all part of creating a retail environment that suits each store’s area and clientele, which, as Saunders noted, is a key basis for its strong performance at ALIA.

“Bottlemart retailers have the dual benefit of convenience and local connection. LMG supports our retailers to enhance these attributes in store design, ranging options and space to meet local market needs as well as in-store activations to engage their customers,” Saunders said.

“This approach is also carried through to all interactions with customers, including the ultra-convenience of e-commerce which incorporates each store’s full range and pricing and one hour delivery.”

The finalists for Liquor Retail Group and Liquor Store of the Year included many independent retailers and businesses, something which Saunders was pleased to see.

“There were some great stores nominated and numerous examples of other stores which have enhanced their offer. It’s great to see that independent stores are leading this charge with the benefit of owners and retail teams who know their customers and work with banner groups like LMG to design and adapt the retail environment to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations,” he said.

“The quality and consistency of stores has improved greatly, which is being driven by consumers’ expectations. This is a positive overall as consumers are seeking better store environments and service, and this also leads to premiumisation and increased basket size.”

View the full range of 2022 ALIA off-premise winners here.

Stay tuned in coming weeks for more insights from the winners of the 27th annual Australian Liquor Industry Awards.

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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