Ritchies increases premium liquor footprint
Ritchies has expanded its premium offering, with the opening of a new Fine Food and Wine Merchants store inside the recently opened Pentridge Shopping Centre in Coburg, Victoria.
Under Ritchies’ Fine Food and Wine Merchants banner and located in the heritage listed Pentridge site (which was established as a prison in 1851), the store is described as offering customers a unique and unforgettable ‘shopping experience’, according to Karl Loh, Ritchies General Manager of Liquor.
“Both the Supermarket and Liquor offer will include quality fresh food, gourmet lines, local product along with a comprehensive range of wine, beer and spirits, in a building steeped in notorious Victorian history,” Loh told National Liquor News.
The liquor offering in particular features a range of high quality local and imported spirits, wines and beers. Loh also mentioned: “If we don’t have your favourite, we will chase it down for you.”
The philosophy behind this approach is rooted in the point of difference that Ritchies wants to build in all of their stores, especially the Fine Food and Wine Merchants locations.
“We want to give customers a point of difference to the local chain stores and hope that they will see the benefits in shopping with a retailer that places range, quality, convenience and customer service at the top of the list. We are also committed to local products across every department which is not seen in other outlets,” Loh said.
“I feel the success of our business has been [driven by] our commitment to evolve our offer and give customers what they want and expect. Good range, chilled lines ready to go for convenience, support of local products, an exciting promotional program, strong loyalty platform and engaging staff that know their products and pride themselves on customer service. We feel this is a good formula for success now and in the future.”
Having opened in late November, the response from the local community has already been great. Loh said the feedback received in store has included positive reactions to the look and range of the store, the range of chilled products, the range of local products and the friendly staff. Initial data has shown that premium wine and spirits are driving sales.
This great reaction has been welcomed by the team, considering the incredibly challenging climate surrounding opening a new store in a pandemic.
“It has been challenging as works were slowed often during the lockdown. I must commend our staff for working through those difficult times and delivering a store that we can all be proud of,” Loh said.
“Some other retailers in the [Pentridge] centre have delayed their opening due to COVID 19 issues but I feel we should be up and running as a complete shopping precinct post Christmas.”
The new Pentridge store joins a range of other Ritchies stores among the 65 strong liquor division, but is also part of an exclusive handful that have employed the Fine Food and Wine Merchants offering across Victoria and NSW.
Loh said: “We have selected a number of stores in our network that we feel are the right areas to place this style of offer, and all of them so far have been successful.
“Stores such as Dromana, Rowville, Mt Waverley and New Lambton are a testament to this premium footprint and we have plans to continue this rollout where the location demands it.”