As it announced plans for an annual supplier awards at its first supplier forum as a standalone business, the Endeavour Group said it was expecting its “biggest digital Christmas on record” as the pandemic accelerated customer expectation for greater convenience.

Endeavour told the 1,200 suppliers tuning in for the virtual forum that their BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores were experiencing a combined 250,000 online searches a day as restrictions brought on by COVID-19 shifted consumer purchasing habits to delivery and pick-up orders.

“We are expecting the biggest digital Christmas on record,” Endeavour Group CEO Steve Donohue said, who added that BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores, and their e-commerce platforms, had brought in 500 new suppliers since the pandemic broke out to help alleviate a slump in sales brought about by the restrictions placed on the hospitality industry.

“A big shift that took place in our organisation was that we were able to welcome a large number of suppliers into our business. We saw that our role as a material player in the industry was to try and help facilitate positive outcomes for all producers throughout the country.”

With the surge in online shopping Endeavour’s head of merchandising transformation Bree Coleman talked about how important it was for suppliers to provide as much information about their products when entering them into the system so customers can find their products digitally.

“When suppliers provide high-quality data on their products, they gain greater visibility through our on-site search functions as well as in our email program and our other emerging digital platforms,” she explained.

Endeavour’s new annual supplier awards

During the forum Endeavour’s suppliers were encouraged to save the date of May 12 next year when the first of a planned annual awards will be held at the Timber Yard in Port Melbourne. In the coming months Endeavour will share more details on categories and how suppliers can apply.

“After a very tough few years, we can’t wait to get together and share a drink with our suppliers,” Endeavour’s general manager merchandising Tim Carroll (pictured) said. “Being able to toast the successes of our suppliers is something we are very much looking forward to.”

During the forum, Endeavour also announced it would be sharing its first sustainability strategy next week. “Each of us plays an important role in the responsibility we have to our customers and our industry, and I encourage you, our suppliers, to have those deeper conversations about your own goals, and all the ways you can partner with us to create meaningful change,” Mr Carroll said.

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