Paramount Liquor has opened its first Sessions liquor store in Sandringham, Victoria.
Paramount Liquor Founder Mark Rowe revealed in June that the specialist wholesaler was diversifying into on-premise operations. The expansion followed Paramount looking to diversify following the impact of COVID-19.
The store is co-owned by Dan McPherson, who is the proprietor of the nearby Sparrows Bar and a former account manager at Paramount Liquor.
A second store will open in Brunswick West in mid-November.
The stores offer a modern look and feel, with a premium focus. Sandringham stocks more than 200 gins and more than 120 whiskies, while West Brunswick will have a strong focus on craft beer and wine.
At the helm of Sessions are former ALM executives Jon Fernandes and Fergus Collins.
“Our vision is to compliment Paramount’s already exceptional service and commitment to its customers in the on-trade to the off,” Fernandes said.
Collins added that he felt there had been a “lack of innovation” in the liquor retail market, the me-too promotional and advertising programs.
“The shift in consumer preference across craft beer and craft spirits, plus the continued premiumisation in the market is only being addressed by retailers working outside the traditional marketing group models,” he said.
Paramount intends to expand the Sessions banner group nationally. Outlets in NSWales and South Australia are in the pipeline and the company hopes to have 60-80 stores up and running over the next two years.
Sessions Sandringham is located at 34 Waltham Street.
Melbourne’s strict lockdown restrictions ease
Restrictions in Melbourne eased slightly on Monday after more than 100 days of a hard lockdown.
The five kilometre travel restriction has been extended to 25 kilometres and two-hour time limits on gathering and exercising outside have been scrapped.
The number of people gathering outdoors has been increased to 10 people, from two households.
However, residents will not be able to dine out or have a drink at the pub until November 1.