Home' National Liquor News : NLN DEC 2017 Contents 58 | DECEMBER 2017 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
Q ABOUT US:
STUART: We have owned and operated the
business since 2011. Prior to that I spent some
time with First Choice Liquor and learned a great
deal about how the corporates run their business,
especially their focus on private label. I cut my
teeth managing Heatherhill Cellars in the early
2000s and have seen many changes in the
industry over the journey. While small businesses
come with their challenges, the buck stops with
you. We have worked hard for some years now,
and are putting on more staff while starting to
have more time to ourselves.
ANTHONY: I started working as a casual in a drive-
through in 2005 as a second job for some extra
income. I soon realised that the liquor industry
was for me. I accepted a Trainee Store Manager
position but soon realised a better opportunity
when I saw how engaging the Sales Reps were. I
was soon working for CCA from grocery, to route,
then to licensed. CCA went through a change
which left me eagerly wanting to get back into
the liquor industry, where I am now thoroughly
enjoying my new role with Kollaras.
Q HOW ARE YOU FINDING THE
STUART: The current market is very healthy.
We are lucky to be in one of the fastest growing
regions of Melbourne. Our demographic is
affluent and the range of products sold in the
current market is very different to my time at First
Choice. If the beer market continues to water
down the ABV, they will continue to open the door
for smaller producers to erode their market share,
especially with the rise of craft beers.
ANTHONY: Consumers are looking for both
quality and value. Shoppers are conscientious
about health and value for money. Retailers
remain mostly positive about the current market
and are always looking for new customers and a
point of difference. Independents are also really
getting into their own brands. Prosecco and rosé
are going gangbusters with the sparkling season
now in full swing. I am very optimistic about the
upcoming festive season.
Q HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT BUILDING NEW
BRANDS IN MARKET?
STUART: In-store presence is very important
for new products, so new products are featured
prominently. I also like to sample new products
with my customers either on a Friday night or
give a bottle to my good customers, especially in
growing categories. In fact, by giving away some
bottles of Kollaras products, the Maschio dei
Cavalieri Prosecco is now one of my best sellers.
ANTHONY: In an industry that is highly
competitive you need to believe in the products
you are selling and customers must trust
and respect your opinion. If the retailer has
confidence in you, they are more likely to direct
their customers towards your brands. Also, with
that loyalty the retailer puts your brands first in
mind when thinking about discretionary space
or off location displays. Kollaras brings products
to market based on category trends, so it really
is solutions based for consumer (and retailer)
needs. We specialise in the independent trade, so
new brands are very relevant to my customers.
Q WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES
YOU ARE FACING?
STUART: Keeping the right balance between IBA
core products and a good variety of independent
brands, while delivering better than average
margins is the challenge. There are a lot of
products available and finding space is difficult.
Being a smaller store means it’s difficult to
commit to quantity, but I do take advantage of
promotional activity to maintain my margins.
Having a strong range of independent only
brands really gives us a point of difference up
against the majors.
ANTHONY: There are so many suppliers
competing for very little space. Also managing
your time and the wants and needs of the
retailer is a juggling act. Meeting store owners
and managers for the first time can be a little
daunting at times but being consistent with
service levels and building relationships helps
overcome those challenges.
Q HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE RETAILER/
STUART: I try to get a new rep to walk my store
and take it all in. This includes both grocery and
liquor, to get them to understand the business
and what we are trying to achieve. I also talk to
the reps about what is working (and not working)
in other stores. It really needs to be a partnership
and I value when reps understand my business
and add value by calling in.
ANTHONY: I always try to find a common
interest and find out as much about the
customer as I can. I truly believe that their
business is my business. If I provide the retailer
with a product or solution that improves their
business, then it’s a win/win. I treat every
customer with respect and ask lots of questions.
I enjoy having a laugh with everyone in the
hopes of brightening their day. But when the
subject of AFL comes up, I’m serious about
defending the Collingwood Magpies.
WE TALK SHOP WITH STUART THOMPSON FROM IGA
EXPRESS SEAFORD NORTH AND ANTHONY FLANAGAN
FROM KOLLARAS TRADING COMPANY.
Store Owner, IGA Express Seaford North
Brand Champion, Kollaras Trading Company
Links Archive NLN NOV 2017 NLN FEB 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page