Home' National Liquor News : NLN JUNE 2016 Contents 32 | JUNE 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING
LATELY AT YOUR STORE?
I bought this store a few years ago and have
been working hard in that time to turn it
around and make it as appealing and exciting
for customers as I can. Recently, we've been
focusing on local advertising along main
roads and the building exterior to encourage
people to stop in. The advertising is around my
passionate focus on craft beer and wine, as well
as deals that will appeal to the everyday person
and make them choose to shop with us.
Once customers are in the store, we do
everything we can to ensure that they have
an enjoyable experience, as well as help them
to find new/independent products which they
might not find at a big box store.
WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME
For the wine drinker who is indecisive, the mix-
and-match deals work very well as they can lead
to a new experience and ultimately hopefully
broaden their drinking horizons. To simplify the
process of choosing wine I have two shelves at
the front of the store; one is 'Any two wines for
$20' and the other is 'Any two wines for $25'.
People like to be a little adventurous in our
store; I can certainly say over the time we have
had the store, that our customers have started
to try wines out of their comfort zone. This is
really important because we set out to share
with people all the great new brands that we
see coming across the tasting bench at the shop,
so it's great to see them enjoying them and
Store presentation is crucial to an enjoyable
shopping experience. Dust free, no hand
written tickets, nice crisp specials tickets, floors
clean with boxes stacked neatly. All of these
elements come together to give the store a
professional yet friendly vibe.
WHAT PRODUCTS ARE BIG
MOVERS IN YOUR STORE?
We've found a niche market for premium
craft beer in our area, particularly European
and Eastern European beers. Our 20 per
cent discount for buying six different craft
beers really helps to move these along, and
since I have a personal taste for craft beer, I
keep the stock and range rotating so there's
always something new to try. We also find our
customers have a big interest in Kosher wines,
Veuve Moisans Blanc de Blanc sparkling from
the Loire Valley, Miles from Nowhere from
Margaret River and Sittella Sparkling Chenin
from the Swan Valley.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST
ISSUES YOU'RE FACING?
Three areas concern me: The economy, the
decline in the value of the Australian dollar,
and the relaxing of liquor licensing.
Firstly, the current economic climate of WA
is having a big impact on the disposable income
of our locals. It's tough to be a retailer at the
moment when the people who come through
can't afford to buy the things they would usually
buy; downsizing from a nice six-pack of beer or a
nice bottle of wine to something more affordable.
Secondly, the relaxation of liquor licensing.
Aldi opens its first store in WA in June and
although they don't yet have licenses to
sell liquor in the aisles like in Victoria, it is
probably only a matter of time until they
persuade some people in Government that
this is a good idea. Add to this the increasing
presence of Dan Murphy's and we are facing
some stiff competition. However, I have two
elements in my armoury that I can see are
ensuring my relevance for my local shopper -- I
know I can deliver far better customer service
than any of the big retailers and I am part of
Liquor Barons -- the most innovative group
in Australia, who have had great success in
driving customers through our doors through a
combination of great marketing campaigns and
their intelligent use of data and technology.
Lastly, the falling value in the Aussie dollar
has caused imported alcohol to become more
expensive, so combined with a lower disposable
income this puts a lot of imported products
that were once affordable, out of reach. I have
worked hard to ensure where possible we have
alternatives, or I have held the price as long as
possible and made sure the customers have had
a last chance to buy at the price they have been.
WHAT WOULD BEING NAMED
YOUNG LIQUOR RETAILER OF
THE YEAR MEAN TO YOU?
It would mean the world to me. I have worked
extremely hard over the past two and a half
years to get the store to where it is today. I have
put a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears into
running this place; long hours and working
seven days a week. Winning the award would
be great recognition for all of the hard work I
have put in since deciding the buy the business.
It's been a long road, but a great one.
WE CHAT WITH JAMES MCKAY, A NOMINEE FOR THE 2016 ALSA YOUNG LIQUOR RETAILER OF THE YEAR AND THE
GENERAL MANAGER OF LIQUOR BARONS MORLEY IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA. MCKAY HAS USED HIS PASSION FOR
RETAILING TO TAKE HIS STORE FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH.
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