In these unprecedented times many businesses are finding themselves needing to adapt in order to survive. Unquestionably, the Australian economic landscape looks significantly different to what it did just over a month ago. The challenges presented by COVID-19 are impacting all sectors of the Australian economy with the retail liquor industry being no exception.

Kathleen Davies, Founder of Australian craft spirits distributor Nip of Courage, has come up with a solution that will both help her to keep her team employed, while also helping independent liquor retailers to set up online stores.

Eighty per cent of Nip of Courage’s business was on-premise so they are now looking at new avenues in order to keep the business afloat, one of those avenues is building websites for independent liquor retailers.

Davies and her team have just finished their first website for Charlies Liquor Barn in Panania (

The website is mobile friendly, lists 120 products and took Nip of Courage just one week to build.

“We wanted to show what could be built in a week without having to pay $10,000,” says Davies.

“We basically sat down and worked with the customer and got it all set up under their name so that they own the website, we don’t.

“We’ve done all of the heavy lifting with setting it all up for them and now they’ve got the power to add further products or change prices etc, we’ve taught them to that all themselves. And it’s quite easy, there is an app that they can use to fix up inventory etc.”

Using Skype and Zoom, Davies and her Marketing Assistant, Phoebe Scutts have been able to remotely teach the team at Charlies Liquor to now manage and maintain their new website moving forward.

“The good part about it is that they’ll own everything themselves and will have the power to make their own changes if they need to.

“These guys just wanted to be able to continue looking after their local customers. And with everything that’s going on we’ve tried to make it as personable as possible.”

Julie Ryan, the CEO of Retail Drinks Australia has encouraged liquor retailers to remain agile and responsive, and a part of that advice includes looking into their online presence.

“The current uncertainty brought about by COVID-19 and other recent events highlights the importance of business-owners remaining agile and responsive to sudden and unexpected changes in the retail landscape.

“For liquor retailers, one of the key ways to address a reduction in in-store trade is to adopt online delivery options.

“Even prior to the emergence of COVID-19, the online alcohol delivery market had been increasing significantly, with double-digit growth forecast over each of the next five years. With a substantial number of consumers currently either in self-quarantine or isolation, the demand for home delivery services of goods, including alcohol, is only going to increase further.”

If you would like to speak to Kathleen Davies and the Nip of Courage team about having a website built for your store, you can do so here.

Phoebe Scutts building the website for Charlies Liquor Panania

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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