Australia’s largest liquor co‑operative, The Independent Liquor Group is a member owned organisation of licensed liquor stores, hotels, registered clubs and restaurants working collectively to obtain the best service and benefits whilst maintaining their own autonomy and independence.
From its humble beginnings, ILG has become a major business in the wholesale and distribution of wines, beers and spirits across NSW, ACT and QLD, enjoying a prominent position in a competitive environment.
Membership to the Co‑operative allows the return of all surpluses to members in the form of subsidised wholesale prices and patronage rebates. Nonetheless, a shareholder member automatically becomes part owner of ILG’s state of the art wide range wholesale distribution centres located in Erskine Park Business Centre, Western Sydney in New South Wales, Richlands in Brisbane, Queensland and Mount St John in Townsville, North Queensland.
Committed to providing choice and flexibility to better service our members’ diverse business models, ILG owns five distinct banner groups in Bottler, Super Cellars, Pubmart, Clubmart and The Liquor Coop. The Co‑operative extends its members significant buying power with enhanced marketing opportunities through specific advertising under these banner groups.
The ILG Logistics Contract Warehousing and Distribution Solutions, extend warehousing, handling and distribution services, as well as customised supply chain solutions for the Liquor Industry.
At ILG, it’s all about our members. Our family is rich in history, strong in member relations and committed to exceptional service.
In the 1970’s, small liquor retailers and hoteliers faced a number of obstacles created by a market that was dominated by a small number of very large wholesalers. These obstacles included restricted marketing opportunities that did not always promote the interests of the smaller retailer and hotelier.
With this came what was then “just an idea” for a small group of liquor retailers to join together and purchase as a group. Founding members include Ivan Markich, Les Walker and the late Gary Sadler.
Gary Sadler, who was ILG’s longest serving staff member and nominated Licensee, formed a partnership with Ken Walsh, then Sales Manager for Gollin & Co., the largest liquor agent in the early 70’s to buy out a little wholesaler called Glenbrook Wines.
In February 1975, Ken Walsh approached Ivan Markich with a view of forming a new partnership to take over Glenbrook. The joint buying for Dural and Castle Hill Cellars started to expand with the acquisition of Glenbrook Wines. Other outlets within the Hills area were later invited to join in and buy together for mutual benefit. In a very short time, about 25 retailers were part of this buying group.
This buying group’ eventually registered a company called Berreca Pty Ltd to serve the activities of the group.
A key man contacted at the time was Les Walker who then owned the Epping Hotel and seven other liquor stores. Les Walker’s interest, support and the business generated through his outlets made the buying group more viable and the idea of a ‘co‑operative’ made possible.
Foundation members included Valley Cellars, Hornsby Heights Liquor Supplies, Kokos Cellars, Emu Plains Cellars, Berowra Hotel, Asquith Cellars, Lalor Park Liquor Store, Nowra Liquor Store,
Parramatta Cellars, Vicar of Wakefield Hotel, Carramar Liquor Store, Mt Druitt Store, Dural Cellars and Castle Hill Cellars.
Ivan Markich started ILG in 1975 and by 1983 ILG was a full range wholesaler. An entrepreneur, Ivan was certainly a prominent figure in the Liquor Industry at the time. He was 10 years president of the NSW Liquor Store Owners association, 5 years president of the Retail Traders Association, an early delegate to the Co‑operative Federation, a Director of the Ryde Catering College and of course Managing Director of the Independent Liquor Group Co‑operative.
In 2000, ILG underwent a restructure to fund its first purposely built warehouse distribution facility in Glendenning through the NSW Treasury loan granted to co‑operatives.
The process required the formation of a second co‑operative, The Independent Liquor Group Distribution Co‑operative Ltd. The original cooperative was renamed The Independent Liquor Group (Suppliers) Cooperative Limited, the entity that extends membership to the co‑operative’s Suppliers.
In 2006, the Independent Liquor Group Distribution Co‑operative Ltd was registered in Queensland to service the Queensland market.
In 2007, ILG moved from Glendenning to its second purposely built warehouse in Erskine Park Business Centre.
In 2016, ILG purchased its second warehouse distribution facility in Townsville to service Far North Queensland.
And as they say, the rest is history, from what the industry would term modest beginnings, ILG has become a significant player in the business of wholesaling and distribution of wine, beer, spirits, and other merchandise, to members across the states of ACT, New South Wales, and Queensland.
Our co‑operative structure binds us with community development and support. ILG is committed to community development activities that promote participation, inclusion and partnership. This commitment is channelled in two ways, internally through its workforce and externally through its members. To the members’ end, ILG’s community activities are targeted towards adding value to their independent businesses that allow them to be the avenue in supporting their respective local communities. To the staff end, ILG practices diversity and inclusion, appreciates and respects the difference in gender, age, ethnicity, origin,
sexual orientation, religion, lifestyle, culture and education.
ILG is an ardent advocate of equality as instituted in the set of co‑operative values and principles that it adheres to. The co‑operative principles are guidelines by which co‑operatives put their values into practice. These principles strongly support a level playing field in conducting the co‑operative’s commercial responsibilities.
In keeping with the Co‑operative principle of supporting the community, ILG holds a fundraiser as part of its annual seminars. The co‑operative has raised funds close to $1Million over the past 30 years.
Charities we have supported include the Children’s Hospital Westmead, De La Salle Foundation in Vietnam, iKhaya le themba, Home of Hope in South Africa, Prostate Cancer, Soldier On and Father Chris Riley Youth Off the Streets.