Local relevance and convenience the keys to success

January 15, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Now with half a year as the CEO of Coles Liquor group under his belt, Michael Courtney reflects back on the company’s progress in 2023 before the new calendar year takes hold.

Commencing as Chief Executive Officer of the Coles Liquor Group in July, my focus has been to continue the strong momentum of the business as well as visit some of our stores around the country to meet with our team members who so passionately serve our customers every day.

With our FY23 results announcement, Coles Liquor achieved a solid performance with $3.6 billion in sales revenue and growth up 2.7% in the second half.

Exclusive Liquor Brands (ELB) sales grew by 8.5% as we welcomed 259 new lines and celebrated more than 500 awards, including the Tasmanian Gin of the Year trophy for Pure Origin Tasmanian Dry Gin at the Melbourne International Spirits Competition and Tinnies Pale Ale awarded the Best English Beer Pale Ale Trophy in the Pale Ale category, at the World Beer Awards Competition.

We continued our vision to become a simpler, more accessible and locally relevant drinks specialist by renewing 236 stores in FY23, including our 500th Black and White Liquorland store in Coomera Town Centre, Queensland. Over the past three years, we have transformed more than 70% of our national Liquorland stores to a more convenient store format and delivered an increased range of local wines, craft beers and boutique spirits.

While our focus on renewals will remain into FY24, we are also offering our customers new and convenient ways to shop with us, shown by a 22.6% jump in eCommerce revenue last financial year through our partnerships with Uber Eats and DoorDash.

First Choice Liquor Market was recognised as Best Liquor Retailer Brand in Australia for 2023 by Canstar Blue, scoring five stars for checkout experience, customer service, store layout and presentation, deals and specials available, as well as overall satisfaction.

The award win coincided with the launch of First Choice Liquor Market’s biggest ever campaign ‘That’s Why We’re Your First Choice’ which showcases our extensive range, great value and expert advice. First Choice Liquor Market also celebrated its first year as platinum sponsor of the annual GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer & Cider Festival.

From a sustainability perspective, installation of solar panels is underway at two First Choice Liquor Market stores in Victoria thanks to our landmark agreement with Origin Energy that will see 100 sites across Coles Group equipped with rooftop solar over the next three years. This will help us to achieve our 100% renewable electricity goals by June 2025.

We once again partnered with Clean up Australia to support the charity with a national fundraising initiative, providing thousands of free kits to clean up local parks, beaches, rivers and outdoor spaces in local communities. Approximately $500,000 has been raised by Liquorland over the past 3 years in-store, online and through a 50-cent donation from every sale from Drop of Good wine range.

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