Received wisdom says that branded spirits won’t sell in significant volumes in convenience stores. They do, of course, but to sell them successfully requires understanding how. Theoretically, establishing an attractive, well-stocked fixture incorporating well-known spirit brands should get sales rolling.
Except the real world isn’t like that. Apart from anything else, space is limited. However, there are some basics that do get branded spirits selling.
1. It is important to give customers price options. Shoppers in almost all convenience stores have a broad spectrum of incomes. Some are more time-poor than cash-poor; others fall into the bracket of “selective up-traders”, who will spend more to get the right drinks experience. Then there are those who will only consider budget purchases. Presenting a three-tier selection of low to premium priced spirits meets the needs of each type of buyer.
2. Help customers to buy by keeping branded spirits where they are most visible and putting budget options in less-prominent positions. The aim should be to target impulse buyers and those who normally buy spirits in multiples. Anyone seeking cheaper options will find what they are looking for.
3. Be clear about the proposition by keeping spirit types together. Don’t segregate based on price, size or other factors. Keep all vodkas, gins and so on in their product groups.
4. Make a point of understanding buying habits. If vodka buyers have a tendency to buy tequila as well, then display them next to each other.
5. Once you have laid the foundations, you can highlight individual brands or products through special displays, possibly with complementary products, such as mixers or food.
6. Spirit brands’ RTDs are the definition of convenience for shoppers when kept in chillers. Branded RTDs generate impulse buys by appealing to those who want a familiar drinks serve.
7. The key to success with branded spirit sales is to give the shopper choice and get the basics right, then learn and adapt to create a significant revenue stream.