Home' National Liquor News : NLN NOV 2016 Contents 18 | NOVEMBER 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
AMI: I have spent the last five years in the
liquor industry, starting as an administration
assistant with a small family wine business
straight out of university. I took an opportunity
to move into a sales role about two and a half
years ago and loved it. I have now been at
Pernod Ricard for 12 months.
PAUL: Top Cellars operates six liquor stores;
I bought one, built six and sold one. Despite
all of my other responsibilities, I enjoy nothing
more than spending time on the shop floor with
customers, and you'll find me at one shop or
another on most Friday evenings. I've been in
the industry for 11 years, following 20 years in
the broader travel and airline industry.
HOW ARE YOU FINDING THE
AMI: Premiumisation and innovation seem to
be driving the growth in the market, and we are
very fortunate at Pernod Ricard to have some
fantastic NPD in these areas such as Le Petit
Rosé and Absolut Botanik which are working
very well in the trade. The market has been a
bit more challenging for mainstream products,
however the diversity within our portfolio has
given me the flexibility to work around many of
PAUL: That old phrase, 'The customer is king'
couldn't describe the current market better.
Shoppers have so much choice, not only about
the range of products and the format, but
primarily a wider than ever choice of channels.
To remain relevant, physical stores need to add
value to each transaction. Tastings, informed
advice, range, refrigeration, size format and
price are all factors. With the number of new
products each year it is important to embrace
relevant ones and be ruthless with products
that don't work.
WHAT DEALS OR PROMO-
TIONS ARE WORKING FOR
YOU AT THE MOMENT?
AMI: Coming into spring, I am focusing mainly on
Champagne, sparkling and rosé. As G.H. Mumm
is the official sponsor of the Melbourne Cup, a lot
of my promotions are currently being built around
this brand. I find multi-buys work well, particularly
the 'two-for' deals in wine, and we have some great
GWP promotions coming up which are always well
received. I also like to work with my retailers to
create deals and promotions that suit the demands
of their particular stores.
PAUL: We find a variety of different offers work
in different stores -- whether it's quantity buys
of wine or 'two-for' deals on sprits or cases of
beer, each store is different. Each store manager
needs to know what works and when to work
it. No matter the store though, each store has
customers looking for six-bottle deals for wine.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST
ABOUT THE JOB?
AMI: The people. I'm very lucky to be a part of an
amazing team at Pernod Ricard, and I get a huge
buzz out of visiting my customers every day. The
products too -- how many people can say they
work with some of the best Champagne, wine and
spirit brands in the world? It's a hobby that I've
managed to turn into a job, which I'm very thankful
for. Also I love the fact that every day is different. I
am constantly challenged by trying to find new and
more creative ways to solve problems that arise.
PAUL: The biggest joy is when a customer
acknowledges they have received good service from
one of the staff -- like if a customer is genuinely
pleased when they are offered a swap for a cold
product or if they have liked the wine they were
recommended. I really enjoy having meetings with
sales people who have done their homework. Not
just flogging their wares but those who take the
time to understand our business -- each shop -- and
present solutions, not just product and price. That
makes doing business much easier.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST
ABOUT WORKING WITH EACH
AMI: Paul has six stores and is 110 per cent on
top of what is happening in each of them. He has
a unique understanding of the market due to the
very different locations of his stores, which cover the
inner city, suburban and regional areas of NSW, and
he brings a wealth of knowledge into his business
unlike anyone else I have worked with. It's great to
work with someone who has so much experience
and is so actively involved with the trade. Paul
also has a fantastic group of managers who I am
constantly in communication with, and as a team I
think we work very well together.
PAUL: I think Ami is an effective communicator
and understands that there are many elements
to decision-making in our business and puts
forward solid rationale to influence us. She uses
market data and shopper insights subtly yet very
effectively when pitching new ranging and in
business reviews. I think we both have a pretty
dry sense of humour and so that helps. I'm also
teaching her Japanese.
WE TALK SHOP WITH AMI SHEEHAN FROM PERNOD RICARD
AND PAUL HEILMAN FROM TOP CELLARS GROUP.
Account Manager, North West Sydney, Pernod Ricard
Managing Director, Top Cellars Group
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