Brandy Rand

Thirsty Writer, Libations Marketer

Visit Your Local Wine & Spirits Store…

Small is Beautiful: What Small Shops lack in Size, They Make Up For in Service and Selectivity

Published in the February 2012 issue of Beverage Media

Americans are known for super-sizing just about everything, from hamburgers to SUVs. We’ve come to associate bigger with better, and often make purchase decisions at stores that offer the widest selection at the lowest price. And when it comes to alcohol, large club, grocery and regional chains tend to dominate certain markets. Because they buy in bulk, these retailers often promote leading brands at discounted prices compared to a neighborhood wine and spirits store. Suppliers and distributors also focus more heavily on these “A” stores, as it often makes the most business sense to do so. It is, after all, about volume, right? Not so fast….

Just as consumers began trekking to farmer’s markets to pay more for a just-picked tomato, they also started searching for craft beers, esoteric wines and local spirits. Emulating the shopping experience at a European market—buy what you need, when you need it, from someone you know—little shops started springing up across the country. Their goal? To get personal with customers and brands. And to present wine based on style, context and taste profile—not ratings. Continue reading full article…

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