Liquor retailing in Queensland is at a watershed. Changes in consumer consumption patterns influenced by high taxes, drink-driving campaigns and other factors have resulted in a major swing away from liquor consumption in hotels and clubs to the home environment. The major task of the publican in Queensland has moved from socialising in the public bar to protect that trade to ensuring that his off-premises sales facility is running efficiently and profitably.
The growing importance to the publican of off-premise retailing of liquor has prompted this research report. The major objective of the study is to review the present practices of retailing liquor in light of current marketing management theory.
Due to the paucity of available information on liquor retailing operations in Queensland the writer has had to rely on sourcing material from trade journals, newspapers, and discussions with wholesalers and retailers.
The study has revealed that there is a distinct lack of planning and direction in the liquor retailing industry. The poor planning is reflected in all areas: layout, advertising, merchandising, pricing policies, and personnel policies. The lack of direction is reflected in operators slavishly following outdated ideas in planning, merchandising and advertising. There are many, many, good ideas within the retailing trade but very few liquor retailers have pulled these together and achieved excellent operations.
A set of critical success factors are proposed. It is strongly recommended that liquor retailers in Queensland consider these success factors as a means of achieving greater profitability in the short term; and in the long term using them as a means of preparing for the inevitable change in licensing legislation which will result in strong competition from experienced, professional retailers and as such pose a threat to their continued existence