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Sisters still Thirsty!

Sisters still Thirsty!

Renee Patel and Tina Govan have done the hard yards and stores are now reaping big rewards since they purchased the Thirsty Liquor brand in April last year; theirs is now the fastest growing liquor banner chain in the country, says Patel. “We now have over 65 stores and the growth is phenomenal; it’s not slowing down and we’re thrilled to find the enthusiasm is nationwide,” Patel says. When they first bought the Thirsty Liquor banner, they set about re-designing the brand’s website and they completely overhauled the existing loyalty programme, so that it was easier to sign up to.


Membership is an easy click of the button, and it is this ease that has helped them to grow the loyalty member database so swiftly. “The biggest growth area has been Auckland, the Wairarapa and Christchurch but we are excited to see growth in all areas of the country,” says Patel.


Each Thirsty Liquor store operates as an independent enterprise with an owneroperator. Patel and Govan negotiate pricing of stock and organise promotional activity with all the major manufacturers on behalf of the group. They also do the marketing for the entire brand, which plays to their own individual strengths in previous careers.


Patel has worked in the liquor industry for a decade and was the first Thirsty Liquor store owner when she signed up in 2011. Govan previously worked at Independent Liquor. One of their focuses was to grow brand awareness through sponsorship deals and social media marketing. “Our website, Facebook and Twitter are all working well for us. ,” Patel says.


“The website is interactive so that it’s easy and immediate to register online for our Thirsty Liquor Loyalty Cards and Thirsty Liquor vouchers. You can also go on-line and purchase merchandise; all these functions are working really well for us and for our customers.” Thirsty Liquor entered into a sponsorship deal last year, becoming Darren Kelly’s main sponsor in the 2013/14 Cody’s D1NZ National Drifting Championship Series. The sponsorship brought significant brand exposure and had a successful outcome with Kelly finishing second in the finals.


Originally Published in DRINKSBIZ magazine - October / November 2014

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