last updated 16/09/2021
Time To Celebrate
last updated 16/09/2021
Liquorland’s franchise opportunity ramps up in its 40th anniversary year
For 40 years, the Liquorland franchise has been a remarkable example of resilience, growth and success. While other retailers have struggled in the face of online shopping, Liquorland has grown, adding over 10 stores in the last year alone. In this milestone year, it continues to be one of New Zealand’s most rewarding – and profitable – business opportunities.
So what makes it such a stand-out performer? Liquorland CEO Brendon Lawry believes it all comes down to people. He’s talking about the care and energy the franchisees have for Liquorland and its customers, the support office team, supplier and agency partners who make the franchise what it is.
‘The more we know about people’s drivers, the better placed we are to achieve long term success. Our commitment can lead to passionate debates on how we can be better, but when the energy comes from a place of care, the outcomes will undoubtedly be positive.
‘Liquorland has always pursued a long-term strategy which includes investing ahead of time on retail standards, brand updates, compliance issues and focusing on the local ownership of Liquorland stores under a national banner.’
One of Liquorland’s advantages is being part of the Foodstuffs family, alongside sister brands such as Pak’nSave, New World, Four Square and Gilmours. ‘That not only makes us part of New Zealand’s largest retail business, but also delivers a number of unique advantages around understanding customer trends and what’s happening in FMCG categories,’ Brendon explains.
‘We have strong strategy-based relationships with suppliers without the relationship being influenced by direct, or indirect, ownership of any one supplier. This means we can put the best consumer demand-based range in front of Kiwis.’
However, while Liquorland benefits from the size and scale of Foodstuffs, Brendon says it is very much in control of its own destiny through its leadership, marketing, brand, operations, IT, finance and merchandise teams. There are also some fundamental differences that stem from the co-operatively-owned franchise model.
‘For example, in 2019 we introduced a rebate structure which pays a share of typically-held franchisor profits directly back to the franchisees in return for a commitment to new initiatives,’ Brendon explains. ‘We have now completed two annual rebate payments to our franchisees totalling millions of dollars, and the programme has really helped us drive our speed to market and execution of ideas across the business.’
A responsible attitude
Liquorland’s success as a franchise can also be attributed to its community awareness and sense of responsibility at all levels.
‘Selling alcohol is a privilege and comes with serious conditions,’ Brendon points out. ‘That’s not just the legal requirements, but also the social licence to trade that we must earn every day from Kiwis. We take great care around store locations and customer ID audit processes, and promotional material is constantly reviewed to ensure it’s targeting the right demographics. Safe drinking programmes and messaging is a priority too.
‘The great majority of Kiwis have a healthy relationship with alcohol and that’s where we focus our branding efforts. We use a valuable customer feedback tool delivered through Customer Radar to constantly refine service delivery, and our Net Promoter Score, which measures our level of engagement with customers, is consistently through the roof.’
Liquorland franchisees are also expected to demonstrate a high level of community awareness and care. ‘We have annual awards which recognise franchisees who go above and beyond for customers, staff and the brand, and it’s amazing and humbling to see just how devoted regional franchisees are to their local community.’
Changing and growing
Brendon says these are exciting times for Liquorland, with new property developments, retiring franchisees and competitor sales and conversions making a number of regional and suburban opportunities available around the country.
‘Factor in an unprecedented change in Kiwis’ drinking habits – the ‘Better For You’ switch to spirit-based and low-sugar mixes – along with social media connection through Instagram and other platforms, and you have a recipe for growth.
‘We’re also currently rolling out our new branding upgrades, an improved full-service website – and let’s not forget that for the first time in 40 years, Liquorland is heading into West Auckland.’
Have you got what it takes?
Liquorland currently has 140 stores throughout New Zealand, with more to come. Investment levels vary according to location.
Brendon advises potential franchisees to do their homework. ‘Don’t just look at our business model, costs, financials and the historic performance – talk to us, too, to ensure our approach, strategy, business plan and, importantly, character and integrity match yours. And get the views of our current franchisees – they will tell you what this business really takes.
‘Support includes a full promotional programme including FlyBuys and Airpoints, strong supplier terms agreements, marketing across digital, social and traditional media channels, data analytics and insights. But in the end, your success will come from your people.
‘If you enjoy engaging with people and being involved in a fast moving, dynamic industry with a market leader, then you may find your new career with Liquorland.
‘With 40 years’ experience behind us, we can offer one of the best-established business opportunities in the country. Contact us today to find out more.’
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