Having celebrated its sixtieth anniversary in February this year, the Tasmanian Independent Retailers Co-Operative Society has a wonderfully long history to look back on as it prepares for a prosperous future in the Australian grocery retail market.
A forward-thinking strategy underpinned by old fashioned values
Grant Hinchcliffe has been CEO at Tasmanian Independent Retailers (TIR) since 2009 and is proud that the the same principles that were in place when the Co-Operative Society was founded in 1956 still apply today. But that doesn’t mean he’s not focused on new challenges and opportunities. “Change is not bad, quite the opposite. It’s good and should always be encouraged and embraced,” he says.
When Grant took the reins, he saw golden opportunities to impact the grocery market in Tasmania and Australia more widely. Some of his top priorities were to strengthen relationships with partners and suppliers, provide more support to members, cut unnecessary costs and pass savings on to members and Australian communities, and reinvigorating the retail brand and IGA channel structure. He says taking advantage of these opportunities has supported the ongoing growth and development of TIR and the IGA retail network over the past 7 years.
Providing the best in local produce
Tasmania, Australia, is widely known as the Apple Isle and is home to some of the best fresh produce the country has to offer. It’s also a naturally beautiful island with a strong sense of community, which is an asset to independent retailers in Australia’s highly competitive market. A large proportion of the grocery market share rests with major players such as Woolworths, Coles, and the ever-expanding Aldi.
Investing in Australian communities
The primary role of TIR is to assist its independent retailer members to compete effectively in the Tasmanian retail market. “Independent operators have a unique opportunity to better position themselves in their local communities and to use their local knowledge and understanding of their customer base to present an offer that is reflective of what the customer wants and needs,” says Grant.
TIR provides its members with the tools they need to succeed in business, assisting them meet their legal obligations and with branding. This has allowed the IGA (Independent Grocers of Australia) brand to become synonymous with quality and value and is well respected for creating investment and job opportunities for Tasmanians.
Grant acknowledges that over the TIR’s 60 years, a large and diverse group of people have contributed to its many achievements. “Success doesn’t just happen,” he says. “It takes hard work, the courage to make difficult decisions, and sometimes, just some good old fashioned luck.”
Tasmanian Independent Retailers key facts
- Company name: Tasmanian Independent Retailers
- CEO: Grant Hinchcliffe
- Headquarters: Launceston, Australia
- Number of employees: 50
- Industry: Retail & Wholesale