South Australia, being a relatively small market, already had 3 similar groups operating, and at first it was somewhat difficult in convincing suppliers that the members were genuine, and could make a contribution to their businesses.
However, with the backing of National Foods (now Lion Dairy and Foods) (the 11 members were already strong clients of National Foods) the group was able to convince the following suppliers to support them as a group:
- Lion Dairy & Foods
- Coca Cola Amatil
- Tip Top Bakeries
The group has added other suppliers since its incorporation, but is proud to say that the above 4 have been with us since day 1.
The unique thing about Shop Friendly Group, is that all of its growth has come from word of mouth recommendations from its member base. The membership currently stands at approx. 150.
Although the group started out with the idea of limiting its membership base to shops that exceeded certain parameters in weekly sales, it soon became evident that there are many small shops with little hope of negotiating discounts on their own. A decision was made to broaden the membership base, by assisting smaller shops, in permitting them to join the group.
Two of the board of directors, Simon Molyneux and Des Trussell have been on the board since the group was incorporated. The present board has been in place for 10 years, reflecting the stability of the group.
The board prides itself in the integrity of its dealings with anyone it is involved with. All dealings are transparent, and the board is very aware of the need to keep all of the groups members informed of dealings it has with various suppliers.