In 1965, Roger Drake commenced his supermarket retailing career with the Coles Myer Group. In 1974, after 9 years at Coles Myer, Roger established his own business by purchasing his first store for AU$29,000 in Mitcham, a southern suburb of Adelaide, South Australia – a three-lane supermarket called Jack & Jill’s with 4 employees. After three successful years, Roger opened a larger supermarket at Torrensville, in the western suburbs of Adelaide. The company has grown opportunistically since then and now owns 50 stores throughout South Australia and Queensland, with a turnover in excess of $800M and 4500 employees nationally.
Drakes Supermarkets is the largest independent grocery retailer in Australia and specialises in supermarket retailing. In addition to their supermarket stores, the company operates a liquor store, several newsagencies and a consulting service. The company also has a significant property portfolio.
The company’s strength lies in operating on the principles of a family business and supporting local manufacturers and suppliers. Roger prides himself on knowing as many of his staff as he can by name. He spends time every day out in his supermarkets, talking to staff and customers alike, and always endeavouring to improve the level of service the company provides.
Despite its expansion, the company has managed to keep its focus on the important aspects of the supermarket business – THE CUSTOMER – by always striving to provide superior customer service. This is the company's competitive edge – along with its family values and South Australian roots. One of Roger’s best-known sayings is“I am not your boss, the customer is your boss, for without the customers, none of us would have a job!”
As a first generation family business, Drake Supermarkets has achieved great success in a market dominated by two retail giants. An increased focus on staff training and development, customer service initiatives, innovation and an expanded social media presence have been among the key factors to this growth. However, Drake Supermarkets overall sales growth is the commitment to our customers, community, staff and suppliers.