27/05/2010 - 00:00

Cleanskin Cellars on track

27/05/2010 - 00:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

WESTERN Australia’s first liquor store franchise has achieved considerable growth since opening five years ago, after initially attracting fierce opposition from the sector’s bigger players.

Cleanskin Cellars on track

WESTERN Australia’s first liquor store franchise has achieved considerable growth since opening five years ago, after initially attracting fierce opposition from the sector’s bigger players.

WA Cleanskin Cellars was started in 2004 by husband and wife, Steve and Marie Cloughley, to provide high quality, value for money wines in WA, while supporting local wine producers in difficult times such as the current wine glut.

“Our company sells premium wine that does not bear the producers details, thus allowing for the consumer to buy at a lower price while also helping wineries sell their product as ‘cleanskin wines’ so as to limit and avoid dilution of the wineries’ existing brands,” Mr Cloughley said.

He said the opening of the first and second stores in Subiaco and Claremont led to lengthy and costly court battles in the Liquor Licensing Court, and subsequently, the WA Supreme Court of Appeal.

The couple spent about $500,000 in legal fees fighting the cases in both courts.

“The company had to negate objections from retail giants and the Liquor Stores Association, which rallied together to stop new competition entering the market,” Mr Cloughley said.

“The second store in Claremont ended in the WA Supreme Court of Appeal where Chief Justice Wayne Martin and two other appeal judges ruled in favour of WA Cleanskin Cellars and identified the cleanskin wine concept store as a unique offering in the liquor industry.

“As a young business we have experienced the ugly side of business, when your competitors attempt to use unjust and archaic laws together with their financial might to stop you in your tracks before you even get off the ground.”

Overcoming such a turbulent beginning has spurred the company to progress its operations.

In recent years, WA Cleanskin Cellars has grown its annual turnover by more than 130 per cent and tripled staff numbers.

Between FY07 and FY08, turnover grew by more than 90 per cent, and by 23 per cent the following year with the company predicting turnover to increase more than 20 per cent by the end of this financial year.

The company now operates seven retail outlets throughout WA with four company owned stores (Subiaco, Claremont, Armadale and Malaga) and three franchise outlets (Kingsley, Busselton and Doubleview).

“We are the first liquor store franchise in WA and the first to be approved by the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor,” Mr Cloughley said.

“There are approximately five new franchise store applications being prepared for submission ... strategically located across country and metropolitan regions.”

The company also wholesales wine to other liquor stores, restaurants and corporate clients.

“The addition of a not-for-profit division within the company, whereby WA Cleanskin Cellars sells wines to organisation members and donates part proceeds to help in fundraising efforts, is not only unique within the liquor industry but it highlights our dedication to the wider West Australian community,” Mr Cloughley said.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options