Independent Liquor Retailers (ILR) has recorded strong performance in its 2021 financial year, which saw a 34 per cent increase in member rebates. 

This is the seventh consecutive year of member rebate growth for the group, and means that the average advertising member return for last year was over six per cent.

Speaking of the key topline figures, ILR General Manager, Corey Leeson, told National Liquor News: “We were 24 per cent in our purchases for the year, for eligible purchases, and we were up 34 per cent in the rebates we paid compared to last year. We’re over a million dollars in profit that we put into the business, which is quite strong.”

Leeson attributes such great performance of rebate growth being higher than sales growth to a better promotional program, growth incentives and business management. It all aligns with the ILR’s unwavering commitment to its goal to provide members with everything they need to make their business a success and be as profitable as possible. 

He said one such way the group has done this is through: “streamlining our costs by moving from print and more into digital. We have that digital infrastructure in place now and that has helped us boost our sales and our income too.

“We’ve also worked quite closely with our stores through our BDMs to maximise sales – working out the products that provide the best returns, making sure category management is good, all the signage is up to date and they’ve got good displays.”

Other ways that ILR has been providing benefits to members include first class marketing and advertising services, vibrant signage and promotional material, extensive exclusive every day low price programs, strong private label and rewards ranges, and money saving merchant offers and hosting services. An example of this in action includes a dedicated program for discounted supply of longneck beer, ideal for the key convenience tradie market.

As for the year ahead, ILR is aiming to record another strong year of growth by bringing on new members and focusing the structure of the business in the right areas. 

“New business to our group drives incremental profit. Because of the way we work and the very low set of costs we have as a business, the more new members we can add in that generate income from suppliers, the more it benefits every other store with rebates. So the idea for us this year is we really want to maintain our numbers,” Leeson said. 

“We’re also going to continue to look at the way we structure our business, by refocusing from print into that digital side, building our e-commerce platforms through our own system with myfoodlink and through DoorDash, to boost the sales for membership as well. With this, we should continue to see the same sort of numbers returned this year.”

In this 20th year of operation, it’s ILR’s core commitment to member needs through activities like this that’s keeping members around and attracting new ones, according to Leeson.

He said: “We want to thank all those people that have been with us for the whole time. A lot of the bulk of our membership has been with us almost 20 years now, which is quite impressive. Their support and faith in us is what’s kept this going, and is a testimony to the success of the business.” 

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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