Retail Beverage Shop Analysis
For my retail beverage shop analysis, I chose Five Towns Discount wines also known to locals as Price Cutters. They are located at 601 Burnside Ave. Inwood, New York. This is on the Southern border between Queens and Nassau County. From the outside, it doesn’t appear too spectacular. With its generic looking sign and typical promotional ads in the front window it sits between a Stop N Shop grocery store and a $.99 store. But upon entering, most adults a reduced to mere kids in a candy store. The store is massive. It is roughly 5000 Sq. Ft. of Vinified love! It was established in 1979, and also sells liquor.
Huge amount of white wines from Europe, Austrailia, South America and U.S.
Overwhelming amount of reds. Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Syrah. Too many to list.
This is just the tip of the inventory iceberg.
The store Manager, Hugo was very pleasant and has worked there since his teens. They started very small and slowly expanded as neighboring business faded.
Me: What is one major challenge of owning or running a wine retail store?
Hugo: I’ll give you two, he responded. First is the competition. There are so many wine and liquor stores on long island and it is tough to stay on top. We always try to give the best prices and our customers know that. Second has been storage. I remember at one time the owner of the business was like a squirrel. He had boxes of wine in his personal garage, basement, attic even his living room and bathroom. He did whatever he could to find space so he could purchase the product in bulk to sell at a better price. It made his and the customers pockets happy. That is why our store is the size it is now. Hard to beat.
Me: How do you stay current in the wine world when there is so much to know?
Staff: Thanks to the cyber world it has made all our lives easier. We get most of our information about what’s hot and trending through social media and wine websites. It is also extremely important to network and build a rapport with wholesale vendors, local wineries and pay attention to trends outside of the US.
Me: What do think about twist off wine bottles?
Staff: Allot of reputable brands are starting to go the direction of twist off bottles and even boxed wines. Being in the retail business and having tried numerous amounts of them. I as well as educated wine drinkers know that many of these wines are of great quality. However, I also know by the amounts we sell that the vineyards that choose this method might not be thinking about the consumer that doesn’t know about wine or the older consumer that doesn’t want to show up to a party with a twist off top worried about perception of quality. Younger customers don’t seem to have a problem with twist off tops, it’s the older folks that have been using a wine key for the last 4-5 decades that mostly see it this way. Over time I’m sure it will be the norm, just a slow transition. I prefer to see it stay the traditional way. Corked and Cultured.
Me: What do you think about the direction wine is heading?
Staff: Well, it is exciting to see so many new names and labels on the shelves and different tastes, but I hate to say that for many people, that’s all it is. Back in the day there was not as many to choose from and a bottle of wine seemed more sacred. Today people drink wine like water. I mean, I’m not complaining, but there seems to be too many producers and unfortunately many of them look for more affordable methods and the quality might suffer.
Thank you, Hugo and Staff
I like your analogy of “kids in a candy store” I often feel that way and also believe that a well thought out and presented wine list is good dinner reading. You learned a lot of valuable information from Hugo.