By James Atkinson
Victorian wholesaler Paramount Liquor recently opened a new state-of-the-art warehouse providing increased capacity to accommodate its continued expansion into the off-premise sector.
The NILWA member company is well established as a specialist on-premise wholesaler, but has recently identified an opportunity in the packaged liquor sector for its service-focused approach.
Paramount's new Derrimut warehouse
Paramount sales and marketing manager John Sudano told TheShout that many independent retailers are poorly serviced by their suppliers and banner groups.
“Retailers rarely see a rep anymore,” he said. “It’s just a desert out there. We’ve got more retailers, and less service.”
“And these banner groups are promoting the same things over and over again, yet retailers are looking for opportunities to expand their range.”
Sudano said Paramount already has close to 400 off-premise accounts. With room for expansion at the new Derrimut facility, the company has set its sights on expanding this number above 1000.
Paramount's Mark Rowe (centre) with sons, finance manager Nathan Rowe (left), and COO Leigh Rowe (right)
Paramount founder Mark Rowe told TheShout that the wholesaler’s expansion into the off-premise sector has revealed some concerning trends in the way suppliers approach business with their largest customers.
“I think Metcash and the chains are about 70 to 75 per cent of the marketplace now. If that keeps persisting, it’ll be 90 per cent, and some of the big suppliers are getting hurt really badly because of the pressure that’s being put on them on price,” he said.
“The first thing they say is, ‘you get the same price as ALM’.
“On the invoice, it’s correct. But then there’s ranging allowances, then there’s the banner terms. It equates to around a 10 or 11 per cent discount on that normal price.”
Rowe said the only way Paramount can compete with these deep-seated discounts is by providing “extraordinary service levels”.
He said Paramount is also able to offer access to unique products through its on-premise business that retailers can make serious margin on.