Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2018 Contents 64 | FEBRUARY 2018 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
RETAIL & WHOLESALE
WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS FOR
COLES LIQUOR IN 2017?
More customers are shopping with us more
often, which has always been our strategic intent
and mantra. Thanks to our loyal customers, we
managed to achieve another year of like for like
sales growth illustrating the consistent delivery
of the overall Coles Liquor Group strategy. We
ask millions of customers each year for their
feedback through our Tell Coles Liquor program
and last year, we had 1.5 million more extremely
satisfied customers across our brands.
We’re also actively contributing to the
communities we serve and are particularly proud
of the completion of our first full year partnering
with SecondBite. Our customers and stores
raised $1 million over this time including almost
$500,000 over our annual Christmas appeal.
HOW IS YOUR TURNAROUND
STRATEGY PROGRESSING? WHAT
CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE OVER THE
LAST TWO YEARS?
At the beginning of the turnaround, we worked
really hard on building a plan we thought
would allow our brands to succeed in the
market place. We’re pleased to say we remain
on track in delivering on that plan. We started
by building a solid foundation and driving
customer centricity. This included investing in
value, in our stores, in our service culture and
in systems and processes to simplify the way
we work. Although we’ve delivered a great
deal of change in these areas, they remain
critical and we will continue to focus on them.
We’re proud to be delivering a much more
consistent experience for our customers and
team members, particularly in store. These are
all the result of tireless efforts from our team to
improve and grow the business.
HOW IS THE LIQUOR MARKET
TRIAL PROGRESSING? ARE THERE
ANY PLANS TO EXPAND THAT
We remain pleased with the customer response
to and the results achieved within the Liquor
Market trial. We frequently run trials across
all our brands and are always rolling out the
learnings from those trials to the fleet.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE
CHALLENGES ARE FOR THE
INDUSTRY OVER THE NEXT
The industry will continue to face challenges
from the external environment as it always
does. There will always be changing legislation,
as we saw with the NSW Container Deposit
Scheme being introduced in December as well as
changing lockout laws for pubs. The important
thing for state and local government is to consult
widely with the industry before making changes.
Because like us, the industry works hard to
adapt to changing community perspectives and
attitudes. At Coles Liquor, we are often making
these changes ahead of the curve like the phasing
out of single use plastic bags nationally this year.
Fortunately the work we’ve done to simplify our
business over the past three years has positioned
us well to respond in an agile fashion to the
challenges that arise.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES
AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR COLES
LIQUOR BRANDS OVER THE NEXT
Customers lift their expectations of us every
year, which creates both opportunities and
risks. Each of our brands work hard to
excel at meeting and exceeding customers’
expectations by having a clear customer focus
when it comes to decision making. We stay
close to our customers’ needs by investing
in detailed customer insights and engaging
directly with our customer base. For example
all our leaders across each of our banners
complete customer immersion sessions where
they walk in the shoes of a customer, before
receiving their feedback. This allows us to stay
close to trends and test our offer out with the
people that matter most.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE
BIGGEST TRENDS IN 2018?
We are fortunate to be part of the Flybuys
customer loyalty program which gives us great
insights into changing customer behaviour
and trends as they happen. We’ve noticed
customers are increasingly looking to try new
things and expand their repertoire. How they
decide what to try is influenced by the story
behind the brand and what makes it special.
They’re also interested in the combination of
food and drinks and “what goes well with
that”. So whilst the role of the liquor retailer
will always be to get the basics right, like
having great value, availability and service,
customers increasingly expect us to know
the brands and their stories. It’s an exciting
opportunity for us and our supply base and
we’re looking forward to working closely
together to make the most of it.
GREG DAVIS, LIQUOR DIRECTOR
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