National Liquor News March 2020

Page 22

Retailer Profile

Retailer recovery

Michael Trenerry from Bermagui Cellars tells National Liquor News about the impacts the recent bushfire crisis have had on his store. New Year’s Eve is exceptionally important for liquor

incredibly valuable industry support.

retailers. Michael Trenerry, from Bermagui Cellars on

“This is where I have to really take my hat off, we

the NSW South Coast, said it contributes to a six week

wouldn’t have been able to get through this if it wasn’t

period where up to 20 per cent of annual sales are made.

for the support of ILG and Paul Esposito specifically,”

But last year’s New Year’s was a different story, with bushfires creating significant troubles for the store.

Trenerry said. “Paul was sending me constant messages asking

“All hell broke loose, basically. It was really quite crazy

how we were doing right throughout that period, and

how quickly it came through, nobody really knew what

when I finally got to talk to him, he had already pre-

was happening,” Trenerry told National Liquor News.

guessed what we were going to ask and had already

In all this uncertainty, tourists were urged to leave,

organised a lot of things.”

roads closed, power was lost and mobile reception was

ILG helped put things in motion so that Bermagui

down. Trenerry had to close the shop for nine days

Cellars wasn’t overstocked and could reopen and run

while the power was out.

efficiently. Trenerry said it was the proactive initiatives

The store, which is under the Independent Liquor

like this from both Esposito and Gareth Southam, ILG’s

Group (ILG) banner, also lost further trade in the

Business Development Manager in the NSW South

weeks following due to ongoing road closures and

Coast, that were key to the reopening of the shop.

fire outbreaks.

“[ILG] have really backed up a lot of what they

“Since we reopened, it’s been steady without it

say out loud, but haven’t made a fuss about it, which

being busy, like we would normally be experiencing,”

I think is really admirable… it’s just been about

Trenerry explained.

supporting those that need assistance,” Trenerry said.

“The population quadruples over the Christmas,

The main focus now for Bermagui Cellars is

school holiday and New Year period… but for the first

supporting their staff and the community in the

few weeks of reopening it was only locals.”

recovery effort. Trenerry is also optimistic that the

Road closures from several fires burning in NSW

Australian public will continue their great support

and Victoria impacted a lot of tourist routes, severely

of the areas impacted, for example, through the

reducing the expected visitor numbers in the town.

#GoWithEmptyEskys social media campaign, that

This unpresented crisis meant that there was an

was actually co-founded by ILG’s Southam.

increase of stock ordered for what is usually the

“Turning up is the best thing that people can do…

busiest time of year, but without the same demand.

it might be just a coffee here or a dinner there or lunch

Trenerry said this is one area where they’ve received

over here, but that’s what we need,” Trenerry said.

22 | National Liquor News

“Paul [Esposito] was sending me constant messages asking how we were doing right throughout that period, and when I finally got to talk to him, he had already pre-guessed what we were going to ask and had already organised a lot of things.” Michael Trennery


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