As the weather heats up, Chris Dillon shares two more ways to maximise your store's summer drink sales in Part II of our series (read Part 1 in our summer drinks series here). 

Great Displays

For strong summer sales, make sure your displays are as easy to shop as possible.

A good starting principle for each section is to stock value products on the bottom shelf and premium ones at the top. This encourages shoppers to trade up and allows them to clearly see the differences between brands.

Pernod Ricard’s James Middleton says: “Rather than stocking five similar wines or spirits at the lower end of the value spectrum, it is far more effective to offer three that offer different propositions.”

Within beer and cider, you should make sure you get the flow of products in the chiller right. Offering a selection of chilled multipacks on the bottom shelf can appeal to shoppers who are entertaining that evening and provide shoppers great value.

Above that you should site smaller packs and premium mainstream brands like Heineken, Thatchers and Carlsberg, and then have craft and world products higher up.

Martin Thatcher, managing director of Thatchers Cider, says: “Retailers should dedicate roughly 75% of their cider chiller space to apple ciders. Cider should be positioned
between wine and beer, bridging the gap between them.” Fruit takes up 21% of sales and pear accounts for 9%, which the fixture should reflect.

Retailers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can further drive sales by promoting sharing snacks and soft drinks with alcohol to help shoppers stock up with everything they need for a night in.

Charlotte Ashburner, head of marketing for Brown Forman, says: “Summer is the perfect setting for a gathering in the garden and by grouping other items consumers might need for that occasion on shelf, retailers can provide a complete offer.”

Do it: Arrange your fixtures with value on the bottom shelf and premium higher up.

Build a Wine Cave

Earlier this year Cornwall retailer Chris Keeble decided that he wanted his shop, Constantine Bay Stores in Padstow, to become a destination for alcohol, so he extended his store with a wine cave.

“We now have more than 100 fine wines. It’s come at a time where the price of mainstream brands is creeping up, so we now have fine wines that are just a pound more expensive,” he says.

The extension was originally a store room at the back wall of the shop. “We’re now giving our wines the promotion they deserve. We get our wines from Fields, Morris & Verdin and they supply us with tasting notes too,” says Keeble.

Creating food and wine pairings is the next step for the team, which they will do with a wine map that shoppers can use to shop the fixture, as well as bottle neck labels. Middleton says: “We would encourage retailers to create ‘summer entertaining zones’ that feature food and paired wine ideas.”

Keeble is able to recommend wine to his shoppers because of his experience in the restaurant trade, where he was able to do wine tastings and take courses.

“A lot of colleges do courses that are worth doing. It’s a tremendous way to add value to your business with knowledge,” he says.

Do it: Find out if there is a wine tasting course you can take in your local area.

Read the first instalment of our summer drinks series here.