Retail Beverage Shop Analysis/Comparison

Store Front

Store Front

After countless hours of researching the best¬†wine stores to visit in New York City, I finally decided to¬†go to Astor Wines and Spirits which is just a block away from where I work. It’s located in 399 Lafayette St. in between 4th St. and Astor Pl. I already had a certain expectation in mind before I even got there just from reading great reviews about the place; but what I didn’t know was that this place was even better than what I expected it to be. Once I entered the store, I was immediately blown away by the massive space and the broad¬†selection of wines and other alcoholic beverages displayed.

Front half of the store: old world wine and sparkling wines

Front half of the store: old world wine and sparkling wines

Red and White Displays

Red and White Displays

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The¬†store was packed with customers carrying shopping baskets filled with wine bottles. They had a 20% off all Sparkling wines sale that day which is probably why a lot of customers were shopping. I started to look around to¬†check the wines they were selling since all the employees were busy talking to customers. I’ve noticed that they had a display for “great wines under $12” (I was tempted to buy one).IMG_0714[1] All¬†the wines they sell had short descriptions about their region and their taste which were really informative. They also had some facts about wine regions and even sold wine reference books on the displays.

As I was looking at the wines, one of their employees approached me and asked if I needed help. I then replied: “Hello Sir, I’m currently a¬†wine student¬†at NYCCT, and I would really appreciate ¬†if you can tell me about the wines and spirits you sell ¬†and maybe give me a quick tour of your store.” He gladly said “Sure, where do you want to start?” with a smile on his face.

After a series of questions and a quick tour of the whole store, I found out that they¬†arranged their wines geographically per bin in the front half of their store which were predominantly “old world wines” (Mostly French, Italian, and Spanish Wine regions). They had their french and american sparkling wine display right next to each other because of their 20% off sale. The sparkling wines were arranged according to their bubbles as well. The wines of the new world ¬†are located at the other half of the store. He didn’t specify if they arranged their wines based on how they were fermented ( oak barrel/ stainless steel tanks, etc) The wines of the new world are arranged according to their grape variety ( a display of wines from different new world countries with he same grape variety). Other alcoholic beverages¬†such as whisky, cognac, sherry, Madeira, rare wines and spirits, are located at

 

the back of the store. They even had Korean liquor like soju. They also boast almost 200 of the finest sakes which are stored on the far right side of the store; ¬†a 57 degree, 70 percent humidity cool room for delicate, rare, and organic wines, a tasting bar for free wine tastings, a library of wine reference books, and lastly a 2nd floor space for wine-related classes and wine tasting events. They have¬†everything a wine store needs–great selection of wines and spirits from around the world, knowledgeable and friendly staff who would take their time to help their customers find the right wine, well-labeled bins that are very informative, etc. They’re easily one of the best if not the best wine store in New York City.

I went to Warehouse Wines and Spirits which was¬†just a block away. It’s located in¬†735 Broadway between¬†Astor Pl & Waverly Pl. The place was also huge, but with a more “warehouse” ¬†atmosphere. It wasn’t as great as Astor Wine and spirits, but what makes this store different is that it boasts a wide selection of wines and spirits at affordable/cheap prices which is one of the best in Manhattan. They also arranged their wines¬†geographically. They didn’t have any descriptions in their wines regarding their taste and it was really confusing at some point. The huge turn off here was that their staff didn’t seem to know¬†what they were talking about, but nevertheless, they still tried to answer all my questions.

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Retail Beverage Shop Analysis/Comparison

  1. I completely understand what you mean when I first walked into the wine shop, I was amazed and overwhelmed by the selection. I didn’t even want to touch a bottle but the employees make you feel so comfortable.

  2. Lem, I found it kind that the employee of the first retail shop you visited was eager and kind to help you, despite the amount of customers they might have had. I also think you did a great job of introducing yourself and describing the set up of both stores.

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