Beer caves can offer convenience store customers a more upscale shopping experience, while positioning a convenience store as a destination for beer.
Beer caves come in various shapes and sizes and can be fitted to your space requirements. Beer caves can help drive alcoholic beverage sales with the help of bright lighting, attractive signage and space for a wider array of products.
To justify the cost of a beer cave, it’s important to keep the beer cave well-lit and well-stocked with a variety of regional and national beer products in order to grow sales and boost your return on investment. One of the biggest benefits to adding a beer cave is space for expanded inventory to include large cases of beer and a wider selection of local and craft beers. As you feature more inventory, that should up your sales, and the better your selection, the more you can drive return visits.
And there’s no rule that you can only put beer in a beer cave. Many retailers add products like champagne or large packs of hard seltzer and ready-to-drink cocktails to the beer cave. If you’re investing in a beer cave, going the extra mile and adding attractive, attention-getting signage can help position the beer cave as a destination. If your beer cave is poorly stocked, dark, and unorganized with a lack of signage, you’re unlikely to see the sales boost this section has the potential to achieve.
Some c-stores invent fun names for their cave, which they feature in colorful signage above the door. Others play music inside their beer cave to encourage customers to hang out longer, which might result in a few extra items added to their basket. If you have a beer cave, drive home the return on investment by paying attention to merchandising. Keep customer favorites in-stock and plan for a revolving door of limited-time and seasonal beers to keep the offering exciting and beer fans returning to see what’s new.
If you’re adding a beer cave for the first time, be sure to let customers know you have a beer cave. And if beer adjacent products — like ready-to-drink cocktails or hard seltzer — are inside, make sure customers know they’re there. Post about the new beer caves on social media or include signage at the pump or in-store alerting customers to this new section. C-stores can also introduce a fun promotion that ties into the beer cave.
All of this and more can help drive traffic into your beer cave, increasing sales and helping you justify the cost of this new section.