Posted on | October 22, 2015
Written by | BevNetwork
Text by W. R. Tish
Photographs by Samuel Bristow
Good things come in small packages. In the case of Value Added Packages (aka VAPs), good things come in small packages, big packages, colorful packages and see-thru packages. Sometimes it’s a corkscrew; often it’s glassware; occasionally it’s really different (tequila-inspired drum set, anyone?). But to many holiday shoppers, these add-ons are just the bonus they need to make a gift-buying decision, whether they are wavering on which product to pick or just in a hurry.
That’s the theory, of course. In practice, wine and spirits merchants have a major challenge just in terms of sorting through the options and choosing VAPs that make sense for them. The devil is always in the details. Should you stick with brands you sell, or test out new ones? What price point do you target, or do you want a broad range? And, mais oui: Where are you going to put them all?
Here are a few tips to incorporate these seasonal special-edition products into your store.
£ Whatever you decide to carry, make sure your staff is given the details they need to explain the “added value” item; sometimes it’s not always obvious, as in a spirit and glasses set that also comes with a recipe booklet.
£ Avoid overkill. Huge piles or stacks of VAPs tend to make them look cheaper; and trying to stock them by category could be a logistical nightmare. Having one table or shelf section devoted to gifts, with signage to boot, will get shoppers’ attention and give the products a nicer presentation.
£ Don’t turn your back on the good-ole gift of a bottle of wine or spirits. Make sure you have gift bags available—as simple as mylar bags with yarn kept under the front counter or as fancy as a spinning floor rack of decorative bags. And it never hurts to post a “We have gift bags!” sign in the store.
£ Keep small or less expensive items near the cash register as impulse buys. This includes corkscrews and accessories that take up little space, as well as stocking-stuffable 50ml spirit miniatures or even 187ml and 375ml wine bottles.
No matter how many of this season’s VAPs you stock, it’s important not to overlook perhaps the most important added-value of all when selling product to the public: Don’t forget to smile!