Home' National Liquor News : NLN AUGUST 2017 Contents NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS AUGUST 2017 | 35
HOW DID YOU GET INTO
I’ve been working in pubs and clubs since I
was around 18, even while studying event
management and IT, I was still working in pubs
and hotels. And I just walked into the Ashfield
store one day looking for a bit of work and it
was just kind of like the right time and the right
place. I had a bit of liquor retailing experience
through the pubs, which had bottle shops on
the side, but I had never worked in a full blown
bottle shop. I started managing the Ashfield
Mall shop about two months after I started
there, so it was just a natural progression for
DID IT ALWAYS HAVE SUCH
A CRAFT BEER FOCUS?
The old manager did try and pop some
different things in here but he wasn’t too clued
in on the scene, so when I took over in mid-
2015, I revamped it and did a big renovation.
So when we did that we just went all out with
the craft beer selection.
I started popping in bits and pieces in
Ashfield over the first two or three years and
when I started managing Crows Nest I realised
that there was an even bigger market here for
craft beer than at Ashfield, so we went all out
with it and we have a huge range here.
All of the stores range anywhere from
600 to 1000 beers. Obviously with 200sqm
of space, Crows Nest has the biggest range.
Depending on the time of the year it could be
over 1000, but we reduce it back during the
HOW DO YOU STAY AHEAD
OF THE CURVE WITH YOUR
It’s getting really hard these days, there’s so
many different beers. It’s kind of like wine
reps now with all of the beer reps popping
into the store.
I do a lot of research, I’m on social media
a lot checking Facebook and Instagram and
the craft beer groups to see what people are
There’s lots of people that post about what
beer they’re currently drinking and where they
are. I do a lot of reading through magazines
and just from talking to people as well. I also
visit a lot of breweries around Sydney.
We have a core range, a set of beers that
don’t change year-round, and then there is our
seasonal stock and they are the things that
WE CHAT WITH LUKE GRIFFIS THE OPERATIONS MANAGER AT CUTTY CELLARS ABOUT REBRANDING THE STORES
AND HOW THEY STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE WHEN IT COMES TO CRAFT BEER.
breweries do once a year as a one-off and we
usually order very little of those and once they
sell out, they are gone.
I’ve always been a big supporter of
supporting local producers, so you’ll find that
we’ll have 95 per cent of stuff from around the
area. And that goes for wines as well, we’ve
got a great range of NSW wines here, so stuff
from Hilltops, Canberra and the Hunter. Of
course we do have the international beers as
well, like Sierra Nevada and Stone Brewing.
We do have quite a large selection of that, but
it’s primarily the Australian and especially
We put in a growler system about a year
ago. It hasn’t gone as well as we’d like, but it’s
still worth having because it’s a good point of
difference and something to talk about in-store.
We do go through about a keg every three to
four weeks, but we’re still primarily focused on
bottled and canned beer.
WHAT ELSE MAKES YOUR
Going back to the wines, we try to get a lot of
boutique and family-owned wines, and really
local stuff from the Southern Highlands.
We also have our craft beer membership
program called the Crafty Club, which is
something a bit different that not many bottle
shops are doing.
And with our store presentation too, we
try to keep the stores really clean cut and
stocked up and full. The presentation and the
experience that you get is pretty unique here.
We had an artist come and do the whole
shop when we renovated with brewery, winery
and spirit art. It’s pretty special when you’re
actually in here and see it all.
CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT
MORE ABOUT YOUR
We use Liquor Legends as our banner group,
so they have their rewards card and about
three or four years ago I realised that there
was bit of a hole in the market. I noticed that
no craft beer retailers were really offering
any sort of membership just for craft beer
drinkers, so I contacted Liquor Legends to
see what they could do. They tweaked their
rewards card design and changed that card for
us and I came up with the name Crafty Club
on the spot one day. So it kind of works the
same way that the Liquor Legends rewards
card does where they get their members deals
on mainstream products, but also it’s worked
in that craft beer drinkers will get discounts. It
also works as a points program, so for every
dollar that you spend you get a cent put back
on your card and you can redeem that at any
time that you like.
We’re also in the process now where we’re
kind of known as the Crafty Club, so we’re
going to rebrand our three stores over the
next six to 12 months as the Crafty Club
Bankstown, the Crafty Club Ashfield and the
Crafty Club Crows Nest, so it’s kind of become
our name now.
HOW MANY CRAFTY CLUB
MEMBERS DO YOU HAVE
AT THE MOMENT?
Well at the moment it’s all combined into one
database, so at the moment we have 8000
Crafty Club members, which also includes our
old rewards members. We were at one stage
doing both cards, the Liquor Legends rewards
and the Crafty Club, and now we’ve merged
those into one, so everyone gets that Crafty
Club card and it has the Liquor Legends logo
below it as well.
Members in general spend more in-store,
whether that be Rewards members or Crafty
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