One of the biggest movements in retail today is the consumer support for ‘the local.’ And its becoming increasingly clear that the way shoppers are doing this is by looking for the instantly recognisable branding that calls this fact out.

Local Liquor is the banner of choice for independent retailers that hero their locality. But its just one of a range of options from Independent Liquor Retailers (ILR), a truly independent group that is run by the members, for the benefit of the members, and puts 100 per cent of profits back into the business. 

Now in its 20th year and off the back of seven consecutive years of rebate return growth, there’s never been a better time to be a true local retailer as an ILR member. In the last financial year alone, rebates rose by 34 per cent, taking the average advertising member return to over 6%.

Corey Leeson, General Manager at ILR, said the benefits of the group and the drivers of its strong performance are tied into the core philosophy to provide everything members need to make their specific businesses a success.

“We’re entirely independent. We’re not owned or run by a wholesaler and we’re a not for profit business – all the money that we make goes back to the members,” Leeson said.

“The members are always top of our priority list. All the decisions we make, the way we operate, the structure of the business, its all around the member and providing the benefits they need to be successful.”

These benefits 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, money saving merchant offers and hosting services, and much more.

Some great examples of these benefits in action include a dedicated program for discounted supply of longneck beer, ideal for the key convenience tradie market, a partnership with myfoodlink for online ordering and DoorDash marketplace to provide a quick and easy delivery service to customers.

All of these benefits are regionally tailored for the best success of members and are also available on an opt-in basis, so retailers only bear the cost of services that will actually benefit their specific store.

“We provide all the types of services and tools that our members need to be successful. Everything’s an opt-in program too – you pick the services you need that will help your business,” Leeson said.

This also makes the rebate system as fair and as equitable as possible, as returns are relative to the size of the business with a percentage based on turnover by category (wine, beer and cider, or RTD and spirits). It means that retailers can maximise rebates by being part of certain programs, but if they don’t participate, they don’t cop the cost.

With a tight team and low costs from the ILR business itself, any new members that join the group benefit the whole network. Being focused on the profitability of the members, there is also very little standing in the way of prospective new members, with no sign up fees, no ongoing membership fees, no finance or admin fees and no other hidden costs.

“You’ve got to look for the banners that are in it for you, and that haven’t got another agenda that’s not dedicated to making you successful. For us, we’re a very small team, we’re very approachable, we treat our members like family and that’s one of the things that makes us stand out,” Leeson said.

“We certainly put members at the forefront of everything, and the decisions we make are about the profitability of the members. That’s our strength as a business and we’re very transparent about it.

“I encourage retailers to contact members within our group to ask about us, because we know we’ve got a structure and a service that provides the best opportunity for success. For any retailer that wants to join us, there’s a different style of banner to suit them.

“We want anybody to just to give us a call and have a chat – you don’t know if you don’t ask. If you’re considering looking around or trying something different to reinvigorate your store, contact us.”

For more information about joining ILR, contact the team:

Phone: 1300 408 399



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...