A sizzling future ahead: Barbeques Galore CEO on leading the industry
Barbeques Galore has been in business for 45 years but they’re just getting started, claims CEO Angus McDonald in this wide-ranging interview.
There’s nothing more Australian than a backyard barbie.
A sun-drenched weekend afternoon spent with family and friends, surrounded by the aroma of sizzling snags paints the picture of a quintessential Aussie summer.
It’s not hard to see why, then, that Barbeques Galore has continued to grow and outpace its competition by tapping into this sentiment and enticing customers to step up their barbeque game, time and time again.
“It’s not ground-breaking to say that Australians love their barbeques – in summer, and indeed all year round, we love to fire up the barbie.
It’s why our mission has never wavered in its original, founding purpose – helping Australians create shared experiences around the flame.
“Many favourite family moments and weekend memories start with the barbeque, and we’re proud to be part of that for millions of Australians, for more than 45 years in operation,” said CEO of the household brand name, Angus McDonald.
“From a business standpoint, we know that bringing people together around the flame is also understanding that as consumer tastes evolve, so do we.
“Since our first store opened in 1977, we have maintained an extremely disciplined approach to new product development to keep pace with how Australians like to barbeque.
“That evolved from the basics of BBQ’ing, to the humble snag becoming the centre course of gourmet cuisine; BBQ’ing has evolved again and again, yet there is a barbeque style for everyone.
“These changing trends have seen us become the market leaders in our category, as we continue to offer consumers a portfolio of market leading private and exclusive brands to suit any customer and their barbequing skills, and with more products already on the horizon,” added Mr McDonald.
The evolution hasn’t stopped there; the new in-store experience Barbeques Galore has cooked up is delivering real results.
By the end of June, the brand will have 10 exciting new format stores trading, having opened the first of these new format stores less than 12 months ago.
“With the right partnerships and locations already in place, and supported by our new format stores that offer a truly revitalised and immersive customer experience, we’re geared for success.
“Our consistent volume of positive customer feedback and clear improvements in like-for-like sales compared to peers continues to reaffirm this,” added Mr McDonald.
In addition to a disciplined approach to product development that has seen the brand snag a leading share of the premium barbeques market and strong sales growth over the last year, a huge investment in technology has also underpinned the brand’s success in maintaining its long held top position in the category.
“We have invested in technology of ~$7 million over the past three years, which has resulted in best-in-class systems including Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP, Fluent Commerce OMS and Salesforce e-commerce and CRM platforms,” said Mr McDonald.
“These investments are designed to not just improve efficiencies and operational flow but reflect our laser sharp focus on helping our 88 stores, and the broader network get the most out of their relationships with customers, suppliers and staff,” added Mr McDonald.
Like most, Barbeques Galore was not unaffected by the world events of the past twelve months. While some industries crumbled and others thrived, the brand maintained a positive position in market, largely helped by the shift in consumer demand.
“We have a large and growing addressable market underpinned by a robust replacement cycle and industry tailwinds that will see us continue to succeed,” said Mr McDonald.
“For instance, we’re seeing rising consumer confidence, record savings levels and disposable income, in conjunction with a lifestyle shift to increasing our volume of home activities.
“Combined, all of this helps to create extremely favourable conditions for our business, and the wider category, to succeed into the future,” added Mr McDonald.
Barbeque Galore’s long-term future is looking bright and its short-term future is looking equally positive.
The business is enjoying strong momentum with over 20% growth in sales during the current financial year, strong growth in online sales and continued development of its portfolio of private and exclusive brands, which represent over 80% of all sales.
These figures are positive and demonstrate a strong basis to grow, claims Mr McDonald.
“We are incredibly proud of our resilience and continued ambition to be the leaders in our field, demonstrated best in our positive end of year results. That doesn’t mean we intend to rest on our laurels, either,” said Mr McDonald.
“There is always more to be done and, in many ways, we’re just getting started.
“We have a range of tangible organic growth opportunities on the horizon, including the rolling-out of new company owned and franchise stores, expanding into adjacent product categories and entering possible international markets,” concluded Mr McDonald.