2020 was a tumultuous and unique year for the Australian liquor industry, but through it all we’ve still been able to hear the positive stories of retailers pivoting, innovating and moving quickly.

One such retailer is Andrew Stubbs, Manager of Vine, Providore of Fine Wine in NSW, and the winner of the 2019 Retail Drinks Industry Award for Liquor Store of the Year.

Ahead of the 2021 Retail Drinks Industry Awards, which received a record number of nominations and will be presented on May 19, National Liquor News Editor Brydie Allen sat down with Stubbs to hear about his approach to liquor retail and what sets his store apart to be named Liquor Store of the Year.

Stubbs describes how Vine’s point of difference is really driven by the team, their skills, knowledge and valuing of the customer experience. While it was hard to maintain this in the circumstances of 2020, the store pivoted to the new normal and found ways to adapt their usual customer-centric approach.

The best piece of advice Stubbs has received reflects the unity in the industry, to share knowledge, insights and encouragement. Considering Vine’s track record and especially its achievement in the most recent Retail Drinks Industry Awards, Stubbs is a great source of this united industry advice.

National Liquor News also heard about the feeling that came with this achievement, both on the night, and through reflection now of what the award means to Stubbs and the Vine team.

Stores that are nominated in the awards are mystery shopped at a time unknown to them, meaning that the winners must maintain high quality service every hour they are open. Stubbs said this is a huge part of the reason they are proud of the title, but you can hear more about what the awards mean to him below.

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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