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MICHAEL: I have been in the retail industry for over 30 years now covering
numerous roles from supermarket store manager to opening Canberra’s first
‘Super Store’ in the 1990s under the David Farmer banner group. My focus
now is to take what I have learnt and ensure the stores I oversee are the best
LYNTON: I have been part of the hospitality industry in some capacity
for almost 30 years. With a background in hotels, I diversified into pubs
and clubs in varied management positions before I was lucky enough to
secure a position as a sales executive with Tooheys in 1997. Having the
opportunity to work in various roles, I am now responsible for Canberra and
surrounds for Lion.
HOW ARE YOU FINDING THE
MICHAEL: I am seeing a trend in my venues of more people willing to trial
new products and trade-up to what they perceive is better quality. I have had
increases in my craft and international premium beer sales to support this,
largely driven by six-packs. Case sales are still my primary, but it is exciting to
see this diversity, along with new customers, as it is challenging in Canberra
due to the deregulated market and continued increased competition.
LYNTON: People are exploring more, especially in craft and premium
beers, so increases in six-pack sales at higher price points are becoming an
alternative to the usual carton purchase. It seems they are not intimidated by
different beer styles and willing to try new products such as Hahn Ultra and
beers from craft breweries such as James Squire and Little Creatures.
WHAT DEALS OR PROMOTIONS ARE
WORKING FOR YOU AT THE MOMENT?
MICHAEL: Working closely with the IBA Banner Group’s activity has proven
to be extremely beneficial. Having an increased frequency of deals, buying
power and the opportunity to maintain everyday pricing for my customers is
important. Customer value opportunities are working best at the moment,
particularly ‘two-for’ deals, 10-pack cans and craft six-packs for the ‘grab
and go’ option have increased foot traffic and incremental sales throughout
LYNTON: Everyday pricing is important so working closely with the venue to
ensure they are buying at the best price at the right time is key. Highlighting
opportunities is also important as it can give the venue a point of difference
in the current dynamic trading environment of Canberra.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE JOB?
MICHAEL: I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic and understanding
business model as RLSG. It is pleasing to be able to discuss openly with
the owner Shane Madden ideas and opportunities as Canberra is a unique
section within their business structure.
LYNTON: Hospitality is in my blood and I like how no two days are the
same. Having the ability to work with a wide spectrum of customers is great.
Working with the venues to better understand their business wants and
needs, and then how to bring them to life is the most rewarding.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING
WITH EACH OTHER?
MICHAEL: I enjoy the open communication that Lynton brings to each
meeting. It is refreshing to be aware of upcoming deals, new products and
promotional activity so I can plan effectively. It is also great how he keeps me
updated on venue performances so we can highlight additional opportunities
and format a solid and workable plan for growth.
LYNTON: It is exciting to see when planning and open communication is
making a difference. I appreciate the way Michael is open to new ideas and
concepts and is willing to give things a go. Michael understands his business
well and the challenges that he faces, but he is always keen to listen to how
he can make it better. It is refreshing to have that partnership.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE RETAILER/REP
MICHAEL: I work closely with all my reps so I can ensure I am getting the
best for each of my stores. I appreciate that Lynton comes to each call well
planned and I am pleased that he brings benefit to my business with each
call. He doesn’t waste my time by kicking stones and this is important to me.
LYNTON: I like to work with the venue to help them achieve their goals.
Understanding their business enables me to work on what suits. Not every
venue is the same so being able give the correct recommendation is key,
whether it be price through available deals and buy windows or product
opportunities via new or seasonal releases such as Little Creatures Hotchkiss
6 Domestic Stout – a case -by-case discussion.
WE TALK SHOP WITH MICHAEL CHAPMAN FROM
RETAIL LIQUOR SPECIALIST GROUP (RLSG) AND
LYNTON MACPHERSON FROM LION.
ACT area manager, RLSG
Sales executive – Canberra and surrounds, Lion
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