After spending the past 12 months setting up or relaunching numerous liquor stores in Central Arkansas, we sincerely want to empathize that setting up a store is not an easy task to complete. You will face many opposing forces and challenges throughout the process of establishing a unique market positioning including financing issues, product selection (wholesalers), staffing, and also competitor trying to convince you that their model works better. Fear of change is still alive and well, and we encourage you to challenge the status quo as therein lies the key to your future success in this industry!
Our recommendation is to stay firm in your plan, to brave some wholesaler sales tactics and avoid outdated operating models in place since the 1980’s. One of your biggest and possibly costly challenge will be to avoid the temptation to please every future customer and over-purchase inventory. Analyze the market, optimize your store layout and shelving to reflect your product mix, and select bold, unique products that will increase your store GPM well above industry averages while providing “best in class” customer service.
THIS is the “mantra” of the future!!
Exhibit 1.0: Key recommendations when setting up or re-launching a store