Partnering with suppliers and retailers is key to ALM’s success

19 March, 2018 by Deborah Jackson

Speaking to National Liquor News for its 2018 Leaders Forum issue, before his promotion last week Scott Marshall spoke about the focus for ALM and IBA in 2018.

Last week, Marshall stepped down from his role as Chief Executive Officer of Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) and was named as the new CEO of the Supermarkets & Convenience pillar of Metcash.

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The move came after the resignation of former CEO, Supermarkets & Convenience, Steven Cain, who has been named as the next Managing Director of Coles.

Prior to those changes, Marshall spoke to National Liquor News about the highlights for ALM and IBA in 2017, and what would be the focus for both organisations in 2018.

“Last year was very exciting with independent retailers growing sales against the previous year,” Marshall said.

“We are still in a very competitive market and face constant challenges around industry legislation and changing market dynamics. The introduction of the CDS in NSW was a very poorly managed process from the start and we will see a big impact on consumption trends going forward. I believe that over time this will benefit smaller format local stores.”

Speaking about the focus for ALM in 2018, Marshall added: “We are continually trying to improve our offer and service to the independent market in both retail and on-premise. We are seeing innovation and expanded ranges with all suppliers and we need to manage these carefully to ensure suppliers have a fast and direct route to consumers while our retailers get the innovation that has the best chance of growing their business without being left with obsolete stock over time.

“Partnering with suppliers and retailers is a key element to the success of us all matching with shopper trends. In the short term we need to understand the impact of CDS on our retailers and suppliers and take these learnings to other states as it is potentially rolled out. I would like to see the other states pause on CDS and actually measure the overall impact of the scheme and also consider negative impact on the consumer price rise along with the onerous cost of doing business to all retailers and manufacturers versus any actual upside in litter reduction.”

Marshall also spoke about what will be the immediate focus for IBA in 2018, telling the Leaders Forum: “IBA will continue to roll out the best store in every town and ensure the Australian shopper has choice. Our retailers add value in all of the communities they operate and we will continue to grow and support each and every one of them.

“We are focused on a very healthy independent network of retailers for the long term. We will also up the focus on training and education for our retailers and their teams. This is critical in us delivering the best local service and is something that the chains would love to compete with us on, but they will never be able to match the passion and dedication of our retailers in servicing their customers.”

For more from Marshall including details on the year ahead for Cellarbrations, Porter’s and Thirsty Camel, take a look at the 2018 Leaders Forum issue of National Liquor News.