By Michael Waters, CEO of Retail Drinks

In reflecting on the past financial year, Retail Drinks has had a hugely eventful 12 months, from both a policy and advocacy, and member services perspective.

We have advocated industry’s views to government decision-makers across the country, and participated in numerous government inquiries, including Liquor Act Reviews in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Our continuous engagement with government has included more than 90 formal meetings and 20 comprehensive submissions ranging from reviews into online alcohol sale and delivery, liquor licensing, retail leases, container deposit schemes, and CCTV guidelines, to Banned Drinker Registers, through to the review of the Commonwealth Privacy Act.

We have continued our leadership in responsible online alcohol sale and delivery, partnering with Frontier Economics to complete the first (and only) study of its kind, which analysed more than nine million transactions in FY23 from retailers, third-party marketplaces, and delivery companies representing around 70 per cent of the $2.1 billion online alcohol sale and delivery market in Australia.

Its aim was to provide a robust information base to address knowledge gaps and enable informed ongoing discussions with government and industry stakeholders. It significantly extends all previous studies, covering the who, what, when and how, including: same day (including deliveries within two hours and 30 minutes) versus non-same day delivery; category mix for same day versus non-same day; time of delivery; customer demographics (who’s purchasing, what they’re purchasing, when and how often); and transaction values.

We also welcomed many more Signatories to our Online Code, who received more than 8,000 mystery shop compliance audits in FY23, with enhanced compliance performance.

In addition, we conducted more than 2,100 individual store visits (including seven Regional Roadshows) and received more than 1,000 calls to our free Member Hotline, ensuring that our members receive key information to help them run their businesses more effectively. As well as providing trusted and timely advice, our Business Insurance Program, Energy Health Check and Merchant Services ‘Pricing Comparison Service’ also helped identify significant savings for members – an average of $1,813, $3,648, and $3,998 respectively, which is critically important in the current economic environment.

A FY23 highlight was hosting another hugely successful annual Retail Drinks Industry Summit and Awards, as a face-to-face event for the first time since 2019 with more than 500 members and industry colleagues in attendance across the day/night events.

The 2023 Retail Drinks Industry Summit and Awards will be held in Sydney on 4 October at Doltone House, Darling Island.

The team and I are proud of what has been achieved in the last 12 months. None of this would have been possible without the continued support of our members and I would like to thank them for their support over the last financial year. We look forward to continuing to deliver for industry as we advocate on liquor legislation and regulation reforms across the country.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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