The Grapevine

Retail Wine Marketing – Is Bigger Better?

July 17th, 2013

How big does your retail wine shop need to be to compete in the market today? [level-members]

If Binny’s in Chicago is your guide, even 33,000 square feet isn’t big enough. They’re undergoing an expansion that will boost their shop to 50,000 square feet.

So, if you’ve been eyeing the storefront next door, by all means, have at it. And perhaps that will make you the big boy in your neck of the woods. (For most consumers, wine is still a local product. You’re really not competing against Binny’s – unless you’re in Lincoln Park.)

But you still run the risk of being outgunned if a bigger player shows up in the strip mall down the block.

So even if size and volume and low prices are a big part of brand personality you create for your shop, be sure to go beyond that. Develop a niche. 

And that niche needs to be something other than, I’m a nice, personable guy. (Or gal.) Nice and knowledgeable is a start, but unless you’re prepared to deliver Zappos level customer service – how many shoe stores will order a pizza for you? – you have to specialize in some way. Be the food-friendly specialiset, or the go-to shop for  Spanish wines, or whatever you feel most passionate about and most capable of exciting your customers with.

Because that excitement – the emotional connection – is what will set up apart from the competition, and save your bacon in a rough economy or other troubles.

Being the corner wine shop won’t cut it. Do more.