The Grapevine

You Think You Own A Wine Shop, But You’re In the Entertainment Business

September 30th, 2015

As younger consumers grow into their own, we are seeing a profound shift in consumption habits as they focus more on experiences than on possessions. How does that impact wine shops? [level-members]

On one hand, wine is a product – and a consumable one, at that. So, it’s easy to see that millennials and other young consumers might be less likely to consume.

On the other hand, wine is all about the experience, and as this generation matures, there’s every reason to expect that they’ll follow in the footsteps of previous generations and begin to put quality above quantity when it comes to alcohol consumption.

If that theory holds true, we’re in good shape as wine retailers. But we do have to pay attention to the younger generations’ change in attitude. They are less interested in status symbols (to some extent – not many are trading in their iPhones for off-brand smartphones …), less interested in accumulating “stuff” (see: the rise of the sharing economy in the form of Uber and AirBnB, etc.), and more interested in doing things. Having adventures, experiencing the world around them.

Which means you probably need to stop selling wine and start selling what wine means. Meals with family and friends tops the list. An afternoon on the porch watching a storm pass, curled up in front of the fireplace with a good book.

You get the picture. Focus on what wine adds to your customers’ lives, not on the wine itself. [/level-members]