So, you want to own a liquor store?

Prioritizing your new store build-out.

on 2010-12-20 Tony Pitale wrote

Are you thinking about opening a new retail beer/liquor/wine shop? Maybe you are even contemplating having a specialty food department. You’ve managed to overcome the first requirement for a successful store … you have found the perfect location. Next, you design a floor plan that is easy to monitor for customer activity and at the same time, is attractive and hopefully a pleasing place for the customer to shop. The shelving has been ordered and will be able to display your product offering in such a manner as to entice your customer shop. Signs inside the store will make it easy for your customers to find the products they are looking for.

Inevitably, the last item on your list is an inventory control and point of sale system that you hope will be easy to use, dependable and all-inclusive. The best part, you want it at the lowest possible cost. Not only is the computer system the last thing you think about, but it also becomes the scapegoat for your shrinking startup budget.

Your new customers have become indoctrinated into a point of sale/customer service experience that any retail store worth it’s salt, needs to provide. Why do you want to scrimp when it comes to one of the most important aspects of your new business? After the beer box, flooring, signage, lighting, etc., are installed and operational, it is the point of sale experience that your potential customers will remember the most as they leave your store. Was the cashier friendly? Were they able to receive a meaningful receipt? Did the cashier or floor person help them with their purchase? How were they treated?

When the customer leaves the store, they won’t talk about the number of beer cooler doors. But they will talk about the friendly atmosphere and people. When they arrive home, they will most likely be on their email account. Will they have a friendly “tasting notes” reminder of the wines they just purchased? Your goal should be to provide a complete and enjoyable experience. Too often, retailers are only concerned with getting the customer in the store. Once in the store, “they’re on their own”.

Will your system be a valuable tool in making this customer experience happen?

It is time that your selection for a liquor store pos system be considered just as important as the signs or the beer box or the shelving. And making the right choice in a point of sale system should not start and end with the upfront purchase price. Do not be short-sighted. Your long-term system costs should be a very important factor. And of even more importance is the growth of the system, the almost constant evolution of the software that keeps pace with the equally changing retail liquor store industry.

Don’t wait until the end of the building process to consider your computer system needs. By doing your due diligence early in the game, you may discover a computer system that offers features that you can use to enhance your actual new store build-out. Your early action will pay dividends in enhancing the customer experience and improving your bottom line.