Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2016 Contents 54 | FEBRUARY 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
THE AUSTRALIAN LIQUOR STORES
ASSOCIATION (ALSA) IS GEARING
UP FOR A HUGE 2016, WITH A
NEW (SOUTH EAST AUSTRALIAN)
BRANCH, A NEW INDUSTRY REPORT
& ITS LARGEST CONFERENCE YET.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE
FOR ALSA IN 2015?
ALSA has enjoyed a busy and challenging year,
but we are confident when we reflect on 2015,
our small but dedicated team was able to make
In January 2015, ALSA released the
‘Australia’s Changing Drinking Habits’ report to
demonstrate the fact that Australians are drinking
less, delaying the age at which they have their first
drink and that alcohol-related violence continues
a decade long decline. These facts contradict
the ongoing campaign by the neo-temperance
movement to suggest there is a crisis with
excessive alcohol consumption in Australia.
ALSA’s second report, ‘Australian Retail
Liquor Market Insights’, was launched in March
2015 at Parliament House in Canberra. The
report highlighted the current trends, along with
the performance in employment, economic and
social contributions of Australia’s retail packaged
liquor sector to the fabric of the Australian way
of life. It also looked at the challenges the sector
faces through excessive taxation, over-regulation
and from the neo-temperance movement driving
the anti-alcohol advocacy lobby.
ALSA has been working hard to provide
professional career development opportunities
for young people in our sector and recently
launched the inaugural ALSA Young Liquor
Retailer of the Year Award to recognise and
reward exceptional young liquor retailers.
Applications from young people working in
both independent and chain store operations
flowed in from across Australia and after a
rigorous interview process, ALSA announced
Krystal Hall, a BWS store manager from WA,
as the ALSA Young Liquor Retailer of the Year.
Krystal will receive the prize of a funded place
on the ALSA International Retail Study Tour
to Japan in February, 2016. Japan was chosen
as the destination as it is recognised as one of
the best examples of both ‘convenience’ and
‘location’ in retailing.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE
MAJOR ISSUES THAT ALSA
FACED IN 2015?
ALSA believes that any government National
Alcohol Policy or Strategy should be based on
encouraging a drinking culture that maximises
the enjoyment and benefits of moderate
consumption, while tackling the harm caused
by the minority who choose to misuse alcohol.
The Federal Government should focus its
involvement in alcohol policy on reducing alcohol
misuse and harmful levels of consumption where
those harms occur, without impacting on the
vast majority of the population who choose to
enjoy alcoholic beverages in moderation. The
neo-temperance movement seeks to demonise
any alcohol consumption, rather than focusing
on excessive and irresponsible consumption.
Despite the proven benefits of moderate
consumption, that movement continues to
advocate that alcohol is the ‘new tobacco’,
something that is harmful in any quantity. By
introducing the term ‘alcohol use’ they also
try to put alcohol on the same platform as
‘illicit drug use’, rather than respect that the
vast majority of Australian adults can and do,
make informed and sensible choices about their
WHAT WILL BE THE MAJOR
FOCUS FOR ALSA IN 2016?
ALSA will continue to take a more proactive
role in the policy debate by actively promoting
the benefits and contribution that the packaged
liquor sector makes to the fabric of Australian
life in social, employment and economic terms.
ALSA has joined forces with IRi (formerly
IRi-Aztec) to produce a ‘State of the Industry’
report for the Australian retail liquor industry,
which will promote the contribution and
benefits our sector provides in addition to the
The report will build on ALSA’s 2015 Retail
Liquor Market Insights report and will utilise the
unique strengths of both ALSA and IRi to provide
a new, informative and insightful overview of,
and for, the packaged retail liquor industry and is
scheduled to be released early in 2016.
ALSA will build on its national
communication and lobbying strategy by
holding an exclusive event in Parliament
House on 16 March, 2016. This event will
provide another opportunity for Federal
Parliamentarians, the ALSA Board, other
industry stakeholders and government
representatives to engage on the common issues
affecting the industry across Australia.
ALSA will conduct a series of seminars
around the country to promote the State of
the Industry report and to update and engage
with our LSA member organisations and their
members in stores around Australia.
ALSA will continue to have an increasingly
proactive involvement with the regulatory
environment and the media in all jurisdictions –
state, territory and federal.
WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE AS
THE MAIN OPPORTUNITIES
FOR THE RETAIL LIQUOR
INDUSTRY OVER THE NEXT
The Australian retail liquor market is in an
exciting phase of transition with a number of
changes underway. Good professional retailers
whether they be independent or chain operators
are performing strongly in a market where
the shift from volume consumption to more
premium product continues at a rapid pace.
Shoppers are demanding different taste
profiles including natural fresh and authentic
flavours and they are also becoming increasingly
Digital marketing is influencing how the
market behaves and that combined with the
significant shift to more moderate consumption,
underpinned by declines of over 25 per cent in
the overall quantity of alcohol consumed per
capita over the last five decades, has led to a more
discerning alcohol beverage shopper.
Shoppers are accessing omni-channel
marketing and demanding a more seamless
customer shopping experience, including
mobile, online and/or direct call centres with
the traditional bricks and mortar retail store.
This will lead to increasing demand for well
trained and professional retail liquor store
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