Leading on-premise wholesaler Paramount Liquor has revealed its intention to launch a new retail banner group with former ALM executives Jon Fernandes and Fergus Collins to lead the venture, alongside Paramount founder, Mark Rowe.

Paramount currently has three distribution centres in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, and while the group has not yet divulged details of where the new banner’s stores will be located, it makes sense Paramount will take advantage of its existing network.

Rowe explained the reasons behind this big step into the off-premise for Paramount.

“Paramount has traditionally been a 95 per cent on-premise based business and as a result, we have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 shutdown of bars, restaurants and cafes across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia,” Rowe said.

“Post COVID-19, it is evident that we need to diversify our business into the retail channel and the best way to do this is by using our existing reputation for paramount service and bringing on experienced personnel who played a significant role in moulding the retail banner group environment that exists today.”

Rowe also welcomed Fernandes and Collins to the team, saying their experience in Australia’s liquor retailing channel, will be crucial to the success of the new banner group.

“We feel that the addition of Fergus Collins & Jon Fernandes to our newly established retail banner group will provide us with the experience and expertise that we need to make this truly independent marketing group a huge success.” said Rowe.

Fernandes brings over 26 years of knowledge regarding the Australian liquor industry to Paramount, with experience ranging from independent retailer owner/operator to General Manager Merchandise at Australian Liquor Marketers [ALM].

More recently he extended his experience into the grocery market with Metcash, leading teams in innovation strategies for both Export and e-Commerce.

“I am extremely pleased to be back within the liquor industry family and excited to be working with the Paramount team in retail. There is something genuine about a family owned independent wholesale business working for the success of family owned independent retailers,” said Fernandes.

Collins also brings considerable experience and expertise to the new business after a six-year stint as the CEO of ALM, from 2007 to 2013.

He led the transformation of ALM from a wholesale business to a retail and wholesale business while building the IBA independent retail network.

“Independent retailers aren’t looking for corporate slogans, they are not a chain, they value local over national and service over shareholders,” Collins said.

“I’m really excited to be working with Mark, Leigh and Nathan and the whole Paramount team to bring true independence back to the independent liquor marketplace.”

Paramount said that additional details regarding the new retail banner group will be announced shortly.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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