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Self-employed liquor and Grocery retailer with business in Ballarat also run a wine online business as well
Jack Simic believes wholeheartedly that being educated in the school of hard knocks can make for more valid learning than gaining formal qualifications. It is through real life business experience that Jack has gained far more knowledge and wisdom that have enabled him to exercise his decision making skills and learn valuable lessons from both good and bad decisions made.
Jack took the most relevant information gained from catering management and commerce courses and applied them to his working life. Between 1980 and 1981 he took on the role of restaurant manager at Long John Steak House where duties included customer and staff relations, stock ordering, banking and financial control. He enjoyed the management side of the hospitality industry because it provided many challenges and responsibilities and the freedom to make decisions. He also enjoyed working under pressure.
He took on the position of trainee manager at Coles Liquorland in 1981 and worked his way to perform other managerial roles and duties for this company in the seven years following. Jack was promoted to store manager in 1982 and was responsible for sales, staff management, stock control, buying and cash operation. In 1983 he performed the role of relieving manager and his duties included travelling around Victoria relieving store managers in a total of 15 individual stores. This was a difficult job as it required managing the store for a very short period. He took on another large and challenging responsibility in 1984 in the role of store manager for the flagship store in Bourke Street where there existed a large number of full-time staff and a very high turnover.
As a trainee buyer in 1985 his job was to negotiate with suppliers on pricing and quantities of stock as well as being responsible for the range carried in 60 stores. These duties were also performed in his next role as Victorian state buyer in 1986, but with the added responsibility of organising Marketing and promotions on a regular basis. In the following year Jack worked with a budget of $6million as Victorian state promotions manager which involved negotiating with suppliers for cooperative monies for advertising and rebates. He was also responsible for the stores advertising, gross profit generated on sale of goods and stock levels in the warehouse as well as in stores.
Jack by this stage had tired of working for others and set about opening up his own liquor retailing business. He obtained a licence and Jacks Wine and Spirit commenced operation in 1989. He bought a second store with an existing licence two years later and put on five staff members. He learnt to survive on cash flow until profitability caught up and also gained valuable experience in the employment of staff. He franchised this store in 1992 and developed a procedure manual in the process. Jack opened his third store in the same year when he converted a supermarket to a liquor-only store which had never been seen before in the town of Ballarat. The stores range totalled more than 2500 items and Jack advertised widely across the print, radio and television media.
In 2002 Jack commenced a wine online store www.jackswine.com.au when online was fairly new and this business is still going to this day, the business has seen ups and downs especially with everyone jumping on the online bandwagon And with giants in the industry like Dan Murphy’s how do compete with giants like that and continue the online business.
Jack has also involved in industry organisation from an early time.
Liquor Stores association - On the board at the crucial time when negotiating with state government and lifting the caps on licences in Victoria this organisation has now been absorbed into the MGA
IBA ( Independant Brands of Australia ) National Board and Chairman of Board from 2008-2015 which incorporates all the Metcash brands of IGA Liquor, Cellarbrations and Bottle O Plus numerous others which incorporates over 1500 stores Australia wide. The roles was to ensure that Metcash and IBA work together for the benefit if Independently owned store owners and look at long term strategies to ensure the business is moving forward and competitive in a dynamic and changing industry dominated by the big 2 retailers in the market.
IBA Victoria Pricing and promotions committee since 1999 roles including pricing, promotions, advertising and competitors awareness in the market as well as representing the Victorian stores and ensuring that at all times that everything that is done is done for making a strong and competitive group.
Friendly Grocer Supermarkets have bee on the Board since 2018 which has over 330 Supermarkets in Qld, NSW and Vic and still an active board member role is to ensure that FG continues to grow and is a viable and profitable business all stock is bought through Metcash.
- Certificate Catering Management; Bachelor of Commerce (part way)
- Deakin University.
- AICD Fellow Company directors Course