The Distributors was awarded the 2023 Shop Supplier of the Year at the inaugural Australian Fuel & Convenience Awards Dinner in Brisbane.
The Award was presented to Customer Manager Tom Wright by External Judge Marianne Kintzel, CEO of the Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association of Australia.
“The AFC Awards are an externally and independently judged merit based awards program that recognises excellence, and The Distributors exemplify this,” explains ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.
“All of the Nominees and Finalists were exceptional operators who really do enrich their communities by being part of them, and they all have a reason to be proud, but there can only be one winner, and this year its The Distributors”, added Mark.
As the industry congratulates the 2023 Shop Supplier of the Year we take a moment to look a little deeper at this Award Winning Business.
AFC Award Profile: The Distributors
INVESTING IN SHOPPING AND SUPPORTING LOCAL
The Distributors has grown to become Australia’s leading national wholesaler, serving petrol and convenience, corner stores, pharmacy, newsagents, schools and the route market. Celebrating 42 years in business in 2023, The Distributors specialises in beverages, confectionery, snacks and groceries, and more recently some of its members have moved into the foodservice marketplace. Operating 35 locally owned warehouses nationally, The Distributors is recognised and continually honoured for highest level of service, unmatched in the industry”.
The Distributors and its member warehouses partner with suppliers to provide the best local market knowledge and experience for businesses to select the right product range to grow their operations and satisfy their shoppers.
Service levels returning
The Distributors has noted strong category growth in confectionery, beverages and salty snacks over the past 12 months, according to CEO George Tsapoutas. “The growth of energy within the beverage category has been incredible and the NPD across confectionery and snacks has continued to grow these categories,” he said. “The pleasing factor is that the industry has almost overcome all the supply chain challenges from last year and service levels are returning to pre-Covid levels.”
E-commerce and the Tradeshow platform
The Distributors’ development of e-commerce is well underway with the implementation of its ‘Online Tradeshow’ platform. “Our focus on customer service means we work with our customers to provide them with the right method to place orders,” Mr Tsapoutas said. “That could be our representatives, EDI, telesales through to web-based ordering. “This year we launched our Christmas and Easter seasonal ordering platform, which has been widely accepted and used by our retailers to place their seasonal orders. “We’ll continue to offer ‘surprise and delight’ deals to retailers via our e-commerce Tradeshow platform throughout 2023 as we continue to learn what works and how to make it easier for retailers to adopt,” he said.
Continually enhancing service
Mr Tsapoutas says The Distributors strives to provide “national coverage with localised service” continually. “So, when you ask me what’s next for The Distributors, it’s all about continuing to improve our customer service,” he said. “We’ll continue to develop and enhance our systems and processes, as well as product availability.”
The Distributors believes the sector will continue to grow and expand, says Mr Tsapoutas. “There’ll be change, yes, but that’s part of the excitement of this fast-paced channel,” he said.
“The channel has invested heavily in ‘shop local and support local’, and to date, that investment is still paying dividends and the local shopper is still shopping in our business sector.”
For more information on the Australian Fuel & Convenience Awards, the Nominees, Finalists and Winners; to nominate for the AFC Awards; or be there to support the industry visit: https://apfiforum.com/afc-awards