Paramount Liquor has announced it’s launching a new retail banner group, lead by Jon Fernandes and Fergus Collins.
Paramount Liquor is an independent, Australian-owned family business that has grown to become the largest on-premise specialist wholesaler in Australia. It currently has three distribution centres in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
Jon Fernandes (above, right) has more than 26 years experience in the Australian liquor industry, from working as an independent retailer owner/operator to being General Manager Merchandise at Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM).
Fergus Collins (above, left) spent six years as the CEO of ALM, Metcash’s liquor arm, from 2007 to 2013.
The expansion into off-premise follows Paramount being greatly impacted by COVID-19 and looking to the importance of business diversity.
Paramount Liquor Founder Mark Rowe said: “Paramount has traditionally been a 95% on-premise based business and as a result, we have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 shutdown of bars, restaurants and cafes across Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
“Post COVID-19, it is evident that we need to diversify our business into the retail channel and the best way to do this is by using our existing reputation for paramount service and bringing on experienced personnel who played a significant role in moulding the retail banner group environment that exists today.”
Together with Rowe, Fernandes and Collins will be leading this joint venture under the Paramount portfolio to bridge the gap between on-premise and off-premise.
Paramount noted that Fernandes was an integral part of the early success and growth of independent groups under IBA and launched key strategies that are still the base of independent success today.
“He understands and lives the importance of the long-term sustainability and success of an independent retail sector,” the wholesaler said.
“The past four years saw Jon extend his experience into the grocery market with Metcash, leading teams in innovation strategies for both export and e-commerce.”
Fernandes added: “I am extremely pleased to be back within the liquor industry family and excited to be working with the Paramount team in retail. There is something genuine about a family owned independent wholesale business working for the success of family owned independent retailers!”
Paramount noted that Collins led the transformation of ALM from a wholesale business to a retail and wholesale business while building the largest independent retail network (IBA) to dominate the second position in market share, ahead of Coles.
“Fergus improved supplier investment in independent channels that facilitated retailers to improve their competitive position,” Paramount noted. “In addition to working with independent retailers to improve their overall retail offer, he also introduced a key retail program to generate additional supplier funding for retailers as a reward.”
Collins added: “I’m really excited to be working with Mark, Leigh and Nathan and the whole Paramount team to bring true independence back to the independent liquor marketplace.”
“We feel that the addition of Fergus Collins and Jon Fernandes to our newly established retail banner group will provide us with the experience and expertise that we need to make this truly independent marketing group a huge success.” Rowe concluded.
Additional details about the new retail banner group will be announced shortly, stay tuned for more information.