Paramount Liquor has become a member of the Drinks Association and its Director, Nathan Rowe, will sit on the Drinks Association's board.
Rowe said: “No one quite knows how to win in on-premise because it is such a disparate sector, but Paramount is at the coalface with strong networks: we have 9,000 customers. I believe I can bring good insight to the Drinks Association when it comes to talking about the on-premise space and providing data about the on-premise landscape.”
It has been a huge year for Paramount with the business transforming itself during COVID, diversifying beyond the on-premise sector and pouring in excess of $5 million capital into the business to broaden its capabilities and build its market presence. This figure does not include the cost of losing all revenue at the onset of the pandemic, retrieving all stock as lockdown hit and maintaining all of its employees.
In addition to acquiring a tech firm of twelve, Paramount’s head count is up 30 per cent.
“We took the opportunity of the pandemic to reinvest in the business and we are now coming out the other side a very different organisation. We have hired an additional 50 staff, acquired new premises and scaled up our capabilities to better service our customers and supplier partners. We are well resourced, technically sound and set up for success,” said Rowe.
While the business has been “Vic-centric”, plans are in motion for national expansion and this includes “building their business networks within industry bodies.”
Paramount shifted its warehousing facilities to a 12,000 sqm warehouse site in Yennora late last year. Beyond improved efficiency and smoother logistics operations, Rowe says, “We have moved up a level in the way we are perceived by suppliers. It has been transformative. We are perceived as bigger players in New South Wales now.”
The business has also moved into the retail space with Sessions stores operating in the Melbourne suburbs of West Brunswick and Sandringham. Former ALM team: Jon Fernandes and Fergus Collins, along with Paramount’s Mark Rowe, are at the helm of the Sessions stores rollout.
The two Sessions outlets are performing well to date and Nathan Rowe describes their strong performance as “proof of concept” with both the geography of the stores and their handpicked innovative ranges essential to their success.
“The Sessions stores are modern retailers, stocking the latest and greatest innovative craft beers, seltzers, gin is massive, vodka and tequila which is growing. The margins are strong, and our customers are adventurous and curious to try new products,” he said.
Paramount plans to establish Sessions stores in Adelaide and Sydney although sites and timing have not been decided upon as yet.
The business has also just launched its new digital platform for its on-premise customers. The e-marketplace includes a customer loyalty program offering ‘money can’t buy experiences’ as rewards. It is also an additional revenue stream for Paramount, featuring advertising space for its suppliers, enabling them to “amplify certain products for customers.”
“We are trying to shift customer perceptions to see value over and above price. We provide value added customer service,” he said.
The ‘industry first’ portal was built by web development agency, Visualr which Paramount purchased last year. Rowe said, “The future of our business relies heavily on the technology that we deploy to market, which will improve our overall customer and supplier engagement.
“We felt that the acquisition of the tech development firm will allow us to focus our attention on this area of our business and enable us to innovate quickly and be nimble enough to adapt to the continual evolution of the liquor market,” said Rowe.
The Drinks Association welcomes Paramount Liquor and is looking forward to hearing the perspectives and insights Nathan will be able to share.