First Choice Liquor Market; Coles Liquor sales growth

First Choice Liquor Market scoops top retail award

August 20, 2019
By Alana House

First Choice Liquor Market has won 2019 Store Design and Fit-Out of the Year at the Australian Retailers Association Retail Awards.

The judges were impressed by the First Choice Liquor Market transformation program, which includes a full in-store transformation, including new hardware, lighting, signage and point of sale.

Coles has now converted 33 First Choice stores to the First Choice Liquor Market format – a third of the total fleet. The roll out continues with a further 12 stores to be converted before Christmas.

“I am extremely proud that First Choice Liquor Market has taken out this prize,” said Coles Liquor Acting CEO Cathi Scarce. “It’s a brilliant acknowledgement of the outstanding work of the team over the past two years.”

First Choice Liquor Market team

The first Liquor Market store opened in Ringwood, Victoria, as a trial in 2016. Since that time Coles Liquor has been fine-tuning the offering to provide a broader range of products, while retaining a low-cost operating model.

In 2018, Coles Liquor decided to combine the best of the Liquor Market offering with First Choice to create First Choice Liquor Market, with a hand-selected range of wines, beers and spirits, including exclusive products not available from any other Australian retailer.

First Choice Liquor Market

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said he was thrilled to acknowledge the retail leaders who are propelling the industry forward, through Australia’s first and largest national retail awards program.

“The ARA Awards have now celebrated Australia’s leading retailers for over 40 years and throughout this time, we have seen the retail industry enrich the lives of many Australians,” Zimmerman said.

“As the industry continues to grow, the ARA believes it is important to recognise the dedicated retailers who have moulded retail into what is it today, and who continue to contribute to the vibrancy of retail.”

The judging panel included Alla Buinowicz, Managing Director at Taking Shape; Bernie Brookes AM, Adjunct Industry Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology; Radinck van Vollenhoven, Country Manager of Stocard; Robyn Batson, Group People and Development Manager at Sussan Group; and Warwick Ponder, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications at eftpos Australia.

2019 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Award winners are:

Award category: Customer Experience
Recognising Australian retailers who create and enhance the customer experience at every step of their shopping journey.

2019 Manhattan Associates Excellence in Customer Experience

  • PETstock
  • Birdsnest

2019 Daylight Agency Excellence in Retail Marketing

  • Bakers Delight
  • PETstock

2019 Pronto Retail Innovator of the Year

  • Biome

2019 Store Design and Fit-Out of the Year

  • First Choice Liquor Market – Coles Liquor

Award category: People in Retail
Recognising individuals and employers in the retail industry paving the future of Australian retail.

2019 Rest Retail Business Woman of the Year

  • Chelsea McIntosh – Spoilt Gift and Homewares

2019 FCB Retail Employer of the Year

  • PETstock

2019 Rest Young Retailer of the Year

  • Aled Ball – On the Run

2019 Retail Graduate of the Year

  • Esther Laub – The Sydney String Centre

Award category: Retailer of the Year
Celebrating and acknowledging progressive retailers in Australia who have transformed their business to adapt to the new era of retail.

2019 eftpos National Retailer of the Year

  • Vodafone

2019 eftpos Digital Commerce Retailer of the Year

  • YCL Jewels

2019 eftpos Franchise Group of the Year

  • Bakers Delight

2019 eftpos Independent Retailer of the Year

  • Birdsnest
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