Australian retail conglomerate Metcash Group is working to improve and develop its liquor business and store network, which includes the continued and growth of its private brand portfolio.
Speaking at the Group’s Annual General Meeting recently, Group CEO Jeff Adams laid out the details of the private brand evolution. Adams also detailed how the premium consumption trend has continued in the first quarter of the 2020.
Adams told attendees: “In our private and exclusive labels initiative we now have about 80 SKUs across the wine, beer and spirits categories. Sales continue to grow strongly, particularly in the wine category, which was up 20% on the prior year. The wine category now represents around 85% of total private and exclusive label sales.
“In core range, we continue to have a strong focus on providing a regionalized core range, tailored to the local community and to the changing consumer trends. Quality stores, conveniently located, with localized ranges and with personable and knowledgeable service is what differentiates our IBA network and provides us with a competitive advantage.”
Adams also told the AGM that at the heart of Metcash’s strategy is the championing of its independent retailers, part of that focus includes what the group has called its ‘MFuture’ program, he outlined what the key initiatives are for the liquor channel as part of this program.
“In liquor, the national expansion of our Porters Liquor brand and growth in private and exclusive label range is aimed at further capturing the trends to higher-value products.
“Our MFuture initiatives also include growing our share of the on-premise market and we are accelerating our digital capability and trailing corporate retail stores.”
Finally, Adams addressed the first-quarter performance of the liquor business, which is showing some growth, as the premiumization trend continues.
“In liquor, the premiumization consumption trend has continued into the first quarter of the 2020 financial year; total liquor sales including charge-through for quarter one, was up 0.7% versus a previous comparable period growth of 5.6%.