The Grapevine

Retail Wine Shop Business Tip – Winning Merchandise Mix

August 6th, 2013

One of the most important contributors to your success is how well you stock your shop to match what your audience wants. Here are some tips. [level-members]

Most obviously, you can’t stock nothing but Yellow Tail and Two-Buck Chuck if your audience is hedge fund managers and titans of industry. Similarly, first-growth Bordeaux is not the way to go for a solidly middle-class or working-class audience.

Beyond that, though, you need to work with your distributors to actively seek out wines that do three things:

  1. Deliver value to your customers
  2. Match the personality of your shop
  3. Differentiate you from the competition
Not every wine needs to score a ’10’ on all three points, but every wine in your shop must work toward one of those goals. (And needless to say, every wine must also contribute to your profitability. If a loss leader gains you more traffic, than it is part of a profitable strategy, but don’t sell at a loss or even razor-thin margins for any other reason.)
Take a look around your shop and evaluate each wine individually. If it’s not furthering your long-term goals and isn’t currently profitable, find a replacement. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a few bottles of an under-performing wine tucked away for a customer who favors it, but don’t waste shelf space on it. Try something new.