AS a follow-up to the launch earlier this year of drinks brands marketing group Maxxium UK’s Know Your Store, a guide it says helps retailers in the impulse channel maximise profits from spirits sales, the firm is providing independent retailers with advice to ensure they make the most of spirits at Christmas.
The firm is stressing what it sees as especially compelling facts in support of stocking an optimum spirits range. And it’s encouraging retailers to get ready now. Research from Nielsen Scantrack shows that a quarter of spirit sales take place in the last 12 weeks of the year and 50% above the average weekly amount occur during the week leading up to Christmas.
The company says retailers should revise their range and focus on spirits and other categories that over-index at Christmas including whisky, Cognac and sherry. It says half of consumers say they stick to the brands they know, and argues that means it’s important to stock the UK’s leading brands in each drinks category including The Famous Grouse, Courvoisier and Harveys Bristol Cream sherry from its own portfolio.
And as one of its top tips for convenience outlets Maxxium says retailers should stock fractional sizes, especially for premium brands, to allow customers to choose a lower-priced option for more expensive spirits. In its own range it has 35cl bottles on several of its brands including Highland Park 12 Year Old, The Macallan Gold and Laphroaig 10 year old.
There are two main reasons given by people shopping for drinks in convenience stores at Christmas, the firm says – one is buying gifts, the other is purchasing for same-day consumption.
It suggests retailers should offer cards, bottle bags and other appropriate products for spirits being given as gifts (remember of course that, in Scotland, while such lines can be placed close to a store’s agreed alcohol display areas they can’t actually be in the areas). It also suggests providing provide mixers, ice and fruit to complete impulse purchases made for consumption the same day. While soft drinks and ice can be merchandised in the same area as alcohol, fruit must be outside the agreed alcohol zones.
Maxxium UK customer marketing ontroller, Chris Richardson, said: “Know Your Store is an essential guide for retailers and during Christmas this becomes even more important as there is a great sales opportunity for independent retailers.
“Maxxium UK is supporting this channel by providing them with the tools they need to prepare for the festive season and capitalise on the spike in consumer spending.”