Americans love wine, and they increasingly love buying it in convenience stores.
How can convenience stores can sell even more of it?
It really isn’t difficult in most cases. Wine is a great profit center and a growing category for many operators today. There is a plentiful supply of quality wine available that allows for a good retail profit. Deals can be negotiated with wine vendors that can include in-store displays and two-fer pricing. The combination is proven to move volume, generate solid profits and provide a good return on investment. Many c-store operators like the category so much they use it to replace real estate formerly held by less-dynamic product lines.
To attract customers to the category it’s important to have a range of wines and price points, so shoppers can select a low-price wine to enjoy at home or a more high-end bottle to take to dinner at a friend’s house.
“Wine can be a great incremental sale,” noted Oliver Herting, category manager and buyer for Ed Staub & Sons’ FastBreak Convenience Stores chain based in Klamath Falls, Ore. He believes that with the right mix of wines the category can bring in strong additional sales. Stocking tetra packs can help drive sales.
“For a convenience store, bottles seem to be a slow mover since most customers don’t want to buy a bottle of wine at a convenience store,” he said. “They want something convenient and ready-to-drink, we have been successful with a Tetra Wine 500 ml.”
Some stores, Herting added, depending on the area and neighborhood, do well with 1.5-liter boxes. “Here, it’s important to look for the most value offering for the customer.”
In addition, c-store chains should consider suggestive selling.
Moti Balyan, chief operating officer of Macland Investments’ Mac Chevron in Woodland Hills, Calif., said he believes suggestive selling should be part of the marketing mix, which naturally entails a degree of training and education. “The cashier should have knowledge of wines,” Balyan said. “I trained my staff especially for chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. Some female customers like rosé, too. My staff walk with customers and explain about the popularity and brands of wines.”