By Charlie Whitting, Assistant Editor, National Liquor News

For John Carmody, Managing Director of Liquor Legends, “the adrenalin kicks in whenever the prospects of Liquor Legends are spoken about”. After a prosperous 2018, he is looking forward to taking advantage of the numerous trends that are growing in strength while continuing to find new ways to engage and communicate with his customers.

“We are more than eager to launch our online click and collect and delivery program through our existing app and website in early 2019. We hope to extend the quality and convenience of our unique offer to the online forum and generate a wave of interest, innovate digital promotional programs and maintain our competitive edge in the current market.

“Our database is already giving us unquestionable opportunities highlighting trends as they form and allowing us to adapt to what our customers want and need. Feedback is imperative and provides us with the opportunities to grow and shape categories to create our own trends to satisfy demand. From hipsters in major metro to the west of the Great Dividing Range in regional areas we understand each store’s catchment is unique to them.

“Rewarding our members and celebrating our Legends is important for us and we plan to announce a tiered level system within our membership. Ultimately this means the more members accumulate and engage, the bigger their benefits will become.

“Another exciting opportunity is our brand new detached bottleshop located just off the Pacific Motorway. The new store flaunts the fresh and upgraded executional standards of the group in its entirety.”

Liquor Legends’ rewards program app, which was launched back in 2017, has been growing in leaps and bounds, and Carmody included “Bonus Rewards Points” in the back to back Christmas Catalogues.

“This year we are focusing on greater engagement opportunities that provide best value for both our members and suppliers. We see our member rewards program as being a bridge for our suppliers to communicate directly to our customers via our rewards and recognition program.”

If Carmody, who was recently invited to join the board of Retail Drinks Australia, has any bones of contention following 2018, it would be with the governments of Queensland and the Northern Territory for the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) and Minimum Unit Price respectively.

“The reality is that there are nowhere near enough container refund centres to reasonably meet community needs and it’s simply arrogant of the State Government to expect their constituents to travel more than 10 kilometres to redeem containers for 10 cents. We have an obligation to find efficient local solutions to minimise the financial burden imposed of approximately $2.40 to $3.00 per case on water, soft drink, beer and RTD.

“The NT Minimum Unit Price (MUP) has also caused almost the extinction of cask and value wine sales in the NT, impacting small retail liquor businesses negatively.”

John Carmody talks trends:

  • “The biggest result has come from contemporary beer, with craft beer growing at an equally impressive rate. Now we are stocking beers from breweries within a walking distance from our office and seeing outlets with eight+ fridge doors dedicated to craft. This rapid expansion in craft is exciting because it offers the customer so many options and broadens the drinking occasions for beer.”
  • “The ‘health conscious’ consumer lingers with lower calorie, zero sugar and organic liquor on the rise entwined with premium and high ABV RTD’s at the other end of the scale are equally flying.”
  • “Premium spirits have also intensified as a category, both in in-store presence and sales uplift with brands such as Wild Turkey and Jack Daniels.”
  • “We are also seeing Lion and CUB move sponsorships from old brands to new or reinvented brands in the contemporary beer segment which seems to be the ultimate success factor for the category.”
  • “Rosé in its entirety has turned the wine segment on its head. Rosé has managed to capture all occasions, switch already entrenched customers to its territory and familiarise and tangle itself within the millennial age group and trend.”

This article was written for the 2019 National Liquor News Annual Industry Leaders Forum published in February.

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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