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Old 12-09-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
TheRumelier
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Default Rum placement in retail

We just opened our brand new retail store and I was put in charge of placing the rum and other liquors on the relocated shelves. Sounds easy but when you have over a 100 different rums it proved a difficult task. I did not give it too much thought beforehand and when I reached work on Sunday morning all the rums were piled up in boxes. Where to start? Obviously the bigger names that we are official distributors for were a priority. But then what? Organize in countires, regions, colour, flavour. Then when you start placing you run out of room for a category. It all got done and I think it all looks pretty good but not perfect. Rum is the largest category of liquor we sell so was given the biggest space, and as I was doing all the work it got my priority followed by whisky. I have since put an old Appleton barrel on display with some information about rum barrels displayed on top. We also have a separate Bambarra display near the checkout.
If anybody has any retail experience or your own ideas about placement I would love to hear from you.
I hope to do some more rum information displays that help educate the customers.
I will post a photo of the "rum wall" soon.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:30 PM   #2
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Your dilemma is my dilemma. In my store I am constantly faced with the 'merchandising' decision. Having been at it for 17 years I have learned that product placement is as important as having the right product in the first place.

I sell sports paraphernalia, and memorabilia. I have found it useful to start by sorting a paraphermalia display first into broad groupings like Hockey, Football , Baseball Et cetera. For you this could be White Rum, Dark Rum, spiced rum.

Next within the broad grouping I alphabetize the display based upon the city names of the teams. For Rums I would within each grouping alphabetize based upon Distiller or brand name. The alphabetizing is important because in a glance I can see what is missing and may need to be restocked.

The final step is to identify Key teams and highlight them either within the display, or create an additional display for them. I might for example make a separate Edmonton Oiler display with only Edmonton items. This might be an Apppleton display or some such thing in a highlight counter. My customers expect Edmonton merchandise to be readily available so that is what I try to accomplish.

Now for the Memorabilia (IE expensive Rums like Appleton 30) I have a feature wall where the display is far more artistic. The placement of items is based more upon impact than order. I have actually found that if the expensive items are dressed up to look and feel expensive, then they will begin to outsell the cheap stuff by dollar volume, so don't skimp out on the display for the premium items, and never put a $100.00 bottle next to a $5.00 bottle. I like to make the edges of the feature wall have the moderately expensive items, and work towards the center and upwards with the most expensive.

Hope that helps. It was fun writing it, and illuminating as I just realized how badly I have let my displays slip on my feature wall.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:33 AM   #3
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Simple to me...put Top Shelf rums on the top shelf.


I cannot recall a time when my eyes didn't go to the top shell first.

If most of your clientele is the "uneducated consumer" then this approach is the best. I agree with the points on special displays...make them ask for it!!!

If your clientele know specifically what they want (like the Ministry), then make is easy for them to find...and buy!!!

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:42 AM   #4
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Alright ...my two cents for what its worth.....

I am basing this on "just shelves" and not displays that have the ability to highlight certain items....

The priority is sales....not intellectual groupings.....groupings are important but more as a sub set of sales.....so what i am trying to say is merchandise the shelves...and then group them...

The things you know will sell..all the fast or popular sellers...need to be lower on the shelves.... low end bacardi rum....the captain morgain spiced rum....stuff like that.

The premium rums...all of the really special stuff.....put it high on the shelves...above eye level.....(looking up is a sub conscious ding to the brain...something better then the usual stuff....)

Or if you have the option on the shelves...put them in a locked glass case.....it gives them the aura of ...something very special. This can be a good thing or a bad depending on what type of retailer you are...it can be trouble unlocking the case......but it also gives you interaction time with a customer...time to talk about the rums.

The things you want to highlight or move....put at eye level. If something is in unique packing.....put it at eye level.....

I think small labels with descriptions are very helpful with the purchasing process......

Now...as a pet peeve.........something that would be helpful for me....the small sample bottles. You can always find the run of the mill rums, but never the premium rums....especially the more expensive rums. I would be happy to plunk down $6-8 for the moderate priced rums...or $10-12 for the really expensive rums in the small bottles (besides i LOVE the small bottles and would more then likely just bye them for a collection)...... Committing myself to a whole bottle of something that was running $30....or even worse something that was higher then $75 is less intimidating when you can "taste" what your buying first......

There is value to this...i know as a retailer you have to commit to a case of the small bottles for each rum..and that is inventory you have to hold and keep track of......But think about it....you get someone(like me) to bye several "tastes" to compare rums and to find out what they really like....and you have made a good chunk of money on the sampling of small bottles right from the start....and then they will most likely come back and buy the full bottle of what they liked.....

Just a thought anyway....lol


I dont know if that is the answer/opinion you wanted...but there ya go anyway.......i hope it helps for what its worth....
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for the ideas guys, pretty much followed those, with the good stuff on the top shelf and the flavours on the bottom and middle of the road on the middle shelf. Will keep playing with it when new stock comes in.
Smaller bottles are very popular now with the economy being down. We have increased our inventory and selection of smaller bottles.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrall View Post
Now...as a pet peeve.........something that would be helpful for me....the small sample bottles. You can always find the run of the mill rums, but never the premium rums....especially the more expensive rums.
The cost to bottle, label, distribute and market the small bottles is often much more than the cost of the product. Unless the producer is planning on using this loss his marketing cost, minis don't make sense. On the other hand, I know a producer that uses minis to initiate sales but his goals for the full bottles are more than a few thousand cases a year.

If you are looking at a product that is unique, the cost of minis is prohibitive. Realistically, it costs almost as much to bottle minis in small quantities as it does to bottle, label, ship and market full bottles.

Another consideration is that most small distillers don't have the machines needed to bottle minis so they have to contract the bottling and or buy an expensive machine.

And then you have the cost of distribution. In NY, for example, label registration costs $250 per year whether you're selling a 750ml bottle or a 50ml bottle.

I know it is frustrating but when you're working on small margins and small volumes, small bottles just don't work for smaller companies.

There are only a few consumers that will spend more than a couple of bucks on a mini and not enough to make it a sustainable option for many producers.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:35 PM   #7
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Well...there that is Edward....

wwwoooowwww.....shows you what i know. I didn't realize that it cost so much to produce the small bottles...

Thanks for the info....
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