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When placing your commercial wine display, make sure you keep it as far as possible from sunlight and heat sources. There's nothing worse than having a great display in front of the window and coming in one morning to find every bottle has popped its cork and exploded all over the shop, or selling a bottle and having the customer return it, complaining that the wine tastes "cooked".
Placement is also important in grabbing attention; too far back and no one sees it, too far forward and people trip, knocking over a bottle of profit. Integrating loose bottles into your commercial wine display is attractive and makes it easier to sell without the customer having to hunt down the single bottles in the store once they see the case display, but it can also be dangerous. Make sure your stacks are sturdy; integrating solid structures such as countertops or built-in wine displays helps you find a good place for display and also helps with the wine displays integrity.
Use the holidays! Especially if your wine is a holiday theme; it's a lot easier to sell wine from Valentine Vineyards in February than any other time of the year. Likewise, with Lady Bug Cuvee in spring and any other wine that seems to apply itself to the holidays. With commercial wine displays in general, any relation to the current holiday will help sell the wine. Four leaf clover cut outs on St. Patrick's Day, little spice packs on bottles of mead for Christmas, simple American flags for the Fourth of July, be creative!
Most of the time, wine is sold in cardboard boxes. Wooden boxes are typically saved for the more expensive wines (there's no price guideline for wine coming in wooden boxes, but a safe bet would be that wine bottles costing around $65 or more arrived in a wooden case) or come from a more traditional vineyard. With wooden wine cases, making a commercial wine display is as easy as setting out the boxes with the top one open and the wines displayed.
The expensive look of the box and the wine itself are an easy and quick way to catch the customer's attention. However, in general, when you're displaying a case stack of wine, you're going to be working with cardboard. Creative stacking comes in very handy with cardboard. Cutting the first box to display the bottles inside and placing that on the top works, but also try stacking in formations: graduate from a small base to a wider middle to a small display top, use larger boxes and countertops as part of the display, include shelving or place the display near a wine rack so that you can incorporate more individual bottles.
Along with descriptor tags or "shelf talkers", another great way of promoting your commercial wine display is by using other items in the store that are complimentary to the wine in the display. If your shop sells cheese, great! Find the best pairing (usually, if the cheese description matches the wine description, they will pair well together) and have a sample out or, if the cheese is comfortable at room temperature, display pieces of the cheese for sale on the wine display. Also, a variety of cork screws from Ah-Sos to Rabbits would draw attention to the display, as well as books on wine, label removers, cook books or products such as Wine Away would draw attention better than just wine alone.
From country of origin to the gold rhinoceros on the label, use of theme in commercial wine display can catch your customer's attention quickly and leave them with an impression that should stick with them even after they've picked out a bottle. The most predominant theme in recent years has been animal labels. From goats to bulldogs, animals sell as easily on wine labels as they do in television commercials. Using larger images of the featured animal in the commercial wine display works well, or including a stuffed animal or little cut out footprints of the labeled creature across the wine display works well to grab people's attention. If you're lacking an animal, other themes include country of origin (use a flag!) or a fun puns with the type of wine (a lot more in your Merlot).
When working with cardboard wine boxes in a commercial wine display, one way of catching shoppers attention is to use what's right in front of them; the colorful boxes. More and more, wineries and vineyards are using high gloss, colorful boxes to make their wines stand out from the crowd. A prime example of a great marketing idea was when the wine Yellowtail was first released. Marketing for the wine included four different colored boxes, all in the warm color category, with top to bottom letters on each one that, if set up correctly, spelled "Yellowtail" in a sunset display of the wine's colors. When displaying your own wine boxes in a commercial wine display, use the colors as much as possible. Set up boxes to run continuously with displayed pictures or stack in starburst or with brightest colors at the top in order to catch the customer's eye.
The best wine display covers a few important details: season, price range, and accessibility. Create wine displays throughout your store that reflect the current season (lighter wines for summer, ports for winter holidays, etc.). Offer discount wines as well as mid- to top-shelf price ranges as well in your displays. Above all, make sure that the wine you display is available at or at least nearby your display. It seems obvious, but nothing is more frustrating than to see a beautiful display of wine...and then have to go hunting around the store to find the rest of the stock.
Place your retail wine racks in the center of your store. Islands can be placed next to one another to give the illusion of one long rack. Be sure to allow ample space between and around your rows of islands to ensure that customers have room to maneuver between them. Wines can be organized by region and/or type in each individual retail wine rack. For example, one rack can hold your Italian wines, with one side for reds and the other for whites. (If possible, keep a few whites in the refrigerator; customers inevitably want to buy them chilled.)
Any retailer knows the importance of displaying products for maximum impact on customers. In the wine-selling business, ease of both visual and physical selection is vital. Your commercial wine racks should ideally stand high enough for comfortable browsing. (Remember to check your retail wine shelving regularly to be sure the top bottles' labels are facing up!) Once a customer has made a selection, removal of the bottle should be simple and safe. Choose commercial wine shelves that offer individual sections for each bottle (or a small set of bottles), rather than one large slot on which all the stock bottles rest.
Description tags are VERY important in commercial wine display and in commercial wine racks. People can see bottles and they might be very attractive, but what attracts a shopper the most is the fact that they can get a short, quick description of the wine just by glancing at the shelf. Tags aren't just for novices, either. New wines are hitting the market at a phenomenal rate, hundreds of new wineries and vineyards every year, and it's hard to make a choice out of such vast selections.
Description tags or "shelf talkers" are your best bet toward attracting customers to your wine display and wine racks. Short, succinct descriptions of the wine work best, usually no more than a dozen or so words and the best part is that most of the time, you can find the shelf talkers free for printing from the vineyard or winery's website.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|