Dan Murphy's Hawthorn; drinks market

Dan Murphy’s trials four new store concepts

January 21, 2020
By Alana House

Following its decision to reposition Dan Murphy’s, Endeavour Drinks is trialling new store concepts in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Woolworths announced it was changing focus for Dan Murphy’s in February 2019, following the chain performing below expectations in the first half of FY2019.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said: “We have a clear plan in place focused on localised ranging, building ‘discovery’ into all aspects of the customer experience and being digitally-led.

“It’s not a business that needs to be turned around but needs to be reshaped for the future.”

At its December EGM, Banducci announced that the company had been accelerating innovation in its drinks business to better meet rapidly changing customer needs.

“While the financial performance of Endeavour Drinks in F19 was below our aspirations, we took a number of positive steps during the year driven by our ambition ‘to connect everyone with a Drinks experience they’ll love’ and are seeing positive signs of improvement,” he said.

“The biggest changes are happening at Dan Murphy’s with a refocus of the business on ‘Discovery’. Customer 1st Ranging, which has been very successful in BWS, is well underway within Dan’s. At year end, we had 35 wine merchants working in key Dan Murphy’s stores providing an authentic and exciting discovery experience for customers.

“EndeavourX was established during the year to ensure a consistent digital experience across Dan Murphy’s, BWS and other Endeavour Drinks businesses. Dan Murphy’s and BWS made good progress on providing increased convenience to customers during the year with the scale up of On Demand, the rollout of 30-minute pick up and further geographic expansion of Jimmy Brings.”

Dan Murphy’s has also introduced a new small format store to its network, at Elanora Heights in NSW. Endeavour describes it as the ‘Store of the Future’. The Elanora Heights store was a conversion from a BWS and only has 400sqm of floor space, as opposed to the traditional 750sqm.

The store stocks only 2700 SKUs – almost half the 5000 SKUs at a typical Dan Murphy’s store – but all the products have received an online rating of four or above by customers.

Unique to this new format store is how the product offering has been curated through customer ratings, top selling lines and new or trending products or categories. Customers are able to browse the store and see ratings provided by Dan Murphy’s customers on the new electronic shelf labels.

“Price is great but the experience in the store and having the right range is as critical as price these days,” managing director Steve Donohue told The Australian Financial Review.

“That’s why we have curated the range in the four-star store in Elanora Heights.

“We’ve made [the range] more concise based on what customers tell us they love, what their favourites are,” he said. “Customers love the fact we are selling to them things they’ve told us they love through our digital platform.

“If it’s successful, it will give us an opportunity to get into spaces and places we wouldn’t otherwise be able to take Dan [Murphy’s].”

Dan Murphy's Hawthorn

Endeavour is also working on making its larger Dan’s stores easier to navigate, with clearly labelled areas for fine wines, sparkling wines, spirits, ales and beer. The precincts are self contained, with chilled wine in the wine section, for example, and chilled beer in the beer section.

In the centre of the store is a row with special promotional offers.

Dan Murphy's Hawthorn

The first of these new store concepts opened in Hawthorn in Melbourne (above) in December.

The store has a unique pick up facility at the entry/exit point of the car park where Dan Murphy’s customers can drink through and pick up their Woolworths groceries and drinks at the same time.

Dan Murphy’s is also developing a drive-through format that allows customers to order from their cars or pick up online orders without leaving their vehicles. The first drive-through opened in Innaloo in Perth.

Andy Sutton, Endeavour Group head of data and personalisation, also revealed late last year how the chain has adopted a Netflix style approach to marketing.  

Turning focus to sustainability

Additionally, another of its store concepts is a sustainability-focused full-line 4200m2 Woolworths supermarket and Dan Murphy’s at Burwood Brickworks in Melbourne.

Burwood Brickworks Dan Murphy's

The retail centre is on its way to be the world’s most sustainable shopping centre. 

Burwood Brickworks is a mixed-use development incorporating a range of sustainability measures including a large solar PV system and an embedded electricity network, achieving a 6 Star Green Star Design & As Built v1.1 (Design Rating) by the Green Building Council of Australia.

Retail tenants must meet strict sustainability requirements, such as using only FSC-certified timber and low-VOC paint.

Burwood Brickworks Dan Murphy's

Burwood Brickworks is also home to Australia’s first rooftop farm in a shopping centre environment, acre Farm & Eatery.

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