In addition to briefly announcing the Endeavour Group’s inaugural CFO at the Supplier Forum on Thursday, Managing Director Steven Donohue also shared the company’s new purpose ahead of the Group’s separation from Woolworths in June: “Creating a more sociable future together”.
“This purpose statement will distinguish us as a business as we begin to write the next chapter of our story,” he said.
Donohue said that new CFO Shane Gannon (pictured below) will join Endeavour in mid-April, leaving the same position at Mirvac where he has been since 2013.
While Endeavour is about to step into a new chapter, he emphasised to suppliers working with Endeavour’s merchandise team, it will be business as usual
More data for an increased personalisation
“We want to help you [suppliers] make customer-led decisions by deepening your understanding of your own product performance through our supply-connect tools,” said Endeavour Group’s Head of Merchandise Transformation & Support Services Bree Coleman.
In July, suppliers will able to access insights on how their products perform in Dan Murphy’s. This is in addition to data that is already available via Quantium regarding their products’ performance in BWS stores.
Suppliers will soon be asked to supply a series of product attributes – for example, if a product is vegan or the vintage of a wine – to enable improved search functionality for customers.
Endeavour X’s Head of Data & Personalisation Andy Sutton added that the insights are used for personalisation. Endeavour X is Endeavour Group’s digital arm.
“What we are really trying to do is give the right customer the right product, the right message, the right tone of voice, at the right price, at the right channel at the right time. It’s a fairly traditional problem to solve, but doing that at scale is the challenge and exciting part for us,” he said.
Consumer trends: Premiumisation, Local Loyalty, Innovation
The forum also explored consumer habits including the drive to premium, the importance of product innovation and the love of local products.
Head of Category Insights Alison Sinclair puts the figure of the premium audience at close to 5 million customers.
She said: “Premium customers have the highest breath of repertoire and will try more different brands and categories than any other customers,” she explained.
With Australian consumers’ showing loyalty to local brands at higher levels than ever before, and with no signs of that slowing, a relevant range is key to store success. Endeavour Group’s Head of Merchandising & Customer Value Pedro da Costa said:“Our ambition is to deliver a tailored range for every store based on community needs,” he explained.
He added that although ranging is now decided based on a cluster of stores, the Group’s ambition is to execute range decisions at a single store level in the near future.
“We are building our capacity for a tailored and unique range,” he said.
Dan Murphy’s Managing Director, Alex Freudmann (pictured below) talked about the consumer trend of customer drinking better, and the opportunity for craft and innovation in suppliers.
“Customers are telling us that they are drinking less, but caring more about what they consume,” he said.
This has resulted in an increased interest in local, no and low-alcohol as well as and low intervention and low sugar products.
“Seltzers wasn’t even a category a year ago. The role we chose to take in seltzers at Dan’s wasn’t just to have the biggest seltzer range, but actually being the educator – the home of seltzers, if you like. And that’s what drink better is all about – being the trend leader and educator,” he said.
Wine needs to push the boundaries
Endeavour Group’s Merchandise Manager Commercial Wine Leigh Firkin suggested that innovation is crucial in the wine industry to ensure it remains relevant. She said, “We can’t expect these customers to age naturally into wine – we have to work together to give them a reason to.”
She believes the wine industry needs to push the boundaries by creating drinks that transcend traditional wine – whether that be infusions or collaborations – and being more innovative and disruptive with wine packaging, including exploring smaller formats than the traditional 750ml bottle.
Endeavour Group’s Merchandise managers now work across both BWS and Dan Murphy’s.
“[This was] one of the most significant steps we made as we progress to a more customer first-driven model. Our merchandise managers are now more empowered to make more customer-driven decisions,” explained Endeavour Group’s GM of Buying & Merchandising, Tim Carroll.
“Putting our customer first is essential to the long-term sustainability of our entire industry,” he said.
Carroll also said the team is committed to simplifying how the merchandise team works with suppliers and improving communications.
He announced the introduction of a 24-hour-policy – the merchandise team are committed to responding to suppliers within 24 hours – and the development of a Supplier of the Year awards program.
In addition to a more informative and comprehensive service via the suppliers’ Partner Hub, Endeavour are set to launch Distilled, a quarterly publication with the latest insights and updates from the business.