Watch this video of Andrew Jardim, Director: Liquor City
- Player: Andrew Jardim
- Franchise: Liquor City
- Established: 1994
- Visit: www.liquorcity.co.za
Keeping it in the family
Over two decades ago Manuel de Atouguia decided radical change was required — not only in the way liquor stores are perceived, but the manner in which customers are treated. He set about building a brand that asked the question: “What do South Africans want?”
What do you believe has been the biggest contributor to Liquor City’s success?
Our staff and the direction provided by the leadership. The size of our stores and variety available are also key factors, along with the fact that we stock exclusive brands.
How have you overcome some of your biggest challenges to date?
Stock controls are a massive concern as liquor is very popular to steal and expensive to replace. We have perfected a system where we can tell how much stock we have on any given day.
Unfair competition, where landlords won’t renew a franchisee’s lease because someone else wants the store, is also an issue.
In a niche/luxury market, how do you stay relevant?
Our house brands, and the value we offer, distinguish our brand. We’ve got a beer that’s won 33 gold medals. We source and bring in products that are normally exported with a different label and better value. The ability to speak to a manager in any one of our stores as you walk in makes us accessible.
What makes Liquor City a sound franchise investment?
Our 23 years of experience means we’ve been through changes in legislation, rebranding and have acquired the ability to forecast trends. We offer a buying group facility and suppliers give us more respect than they would give a novice entering the market.
Our history gives us the upper hand and associates us wth increased quality assurance in the minds of consumers.
How does being a family-run business affect operations?
The trust for each other filters through to the rest of the group. Just as a parent will help their young child cross the street, we believe we do the same for our franchisees. Without them our family wouldn’t be the success that it is.
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What are the benefits of having Nedbank as a banking partner in your business?
We’ve had challenging times, but with a partner like Nedbank, we’re kept on track. As a banking partner, they work closely with us to ensure we aren’t spending excessively, and that we’re responsible with our cash flow.
This has given us the foundations to branch out into different and exciting opportunities, and it’s provided our franchisees with a strong reason to support our brand.
Our relationship with Nedbank has helped us build the business to what it is today. They’ve always supported us, not just through products and solutions, but with advice as well.
Describe some of the qualities you look for in a potential franchisee
Most of our franchisees are established, independent store owners with the ability to run their own business. Knowing and understanding the retail environment is a major factor when considering franchisees.