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opening a wine shop

Opening a Wine Shop – What I Wish I Knew!

April 4th, 2018 Posted by Wine Shop Marketing, Wine Shop Operations 0 thoughts on “Opening a Wine Shop – What I Wish I Knew!”

Opening a wine shop, like any new business, requires lots of hard work, love, and dedication. And some good information.

What  do you wish you knew when you decided to open a wine shop? Here are some things we have learned. Let us know your tips also!

opening a wine shop


Wine Shop Marketing

    • Online reputation is critical – Stay on top of Yelp, Google Places, and other review websites. Customers are turning to online outlets to express their praise / frustration – stay in control.
    • Low cost/No cost marketing – if often the best – community activity gets free marketing.  
    • Events – create a monthly event with free samples; work with vendors to get free samples for the event
    • Email marketing – send out coupons and discounts at least every month. Make sure your wine shop website supports this.

Wine Shop Credit Card Processing

      • Big Costs – Credit card processing is an unexciting but critical part of your business. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by choosing the right merchant account. Compare processors.
      • Statements – Compare your statements to be sure you’re getting a good deal.
      • Contracts – Contracts can be okay, but avoid early termination fees and similar lock-ins.
      • Feel free to contact Avino for input on wine shop credit card processing.

Wine Shop Software

      • Wine POS pays for itself – Good wine shop software increases productivity and has built-in marketing – you will save on time, labor and get more orders.
      • Independent solutions – think independent for your wine shop software – you will get lower prices and more flexibility.
      • Wine shop websites – Make sure your website looks unique – it’s a critical part of your brand.

Wine Shop Operations

      • Delivery Confirmations – do you do deliveries? Confirmations are practically expected by customers these days as a part of basic customer service.
      • Handling complaints – create an action plan for your staff so everyone feels empowered to help that occasional sour customer with a smile and grace.


      • Record keeping – it’s essential to predict future years – keep notes on sales, prices, weather.
      • Planning – Make a game plan weeks before any holiday for staffing, buying, and marketing.
      • Be aware of your competition – See what the wire services and other wine shops in your area are offering and offer up something unique and/or comparable.

In Store Inventory

      • Track Sales – track which categories are most popular and then bring those front and center.
      • Price Ranges – Make sure to give your customers the range of options for all types of wine/liquor.

Wine Shop Staffing

      • Knowledgable staff – customers are often overwhelmed, make sure staff is able to confidently (and gently) give advice.
      • Playbook – write out a simple playbook for employees on engaging with customers; practice the playbook
      • Do not over staff – use part timers for flexibility.

Working with Vendors

  • Share information – don’t be afraid to ask other wine shop owners who they get their supplies from.
  • Check invoices – to be sure you are paying a reasonable price for your supplies and check each delivery to be sure you have received everything you paid for.  Mistakes happen!
  • Know what you are paying – and what you need to charge with your mark-up .  Be sure your staff knows this too!
  • Communication – with vendors is key. Let them know when you receive unsatisfactory product or when they deliver in a timely manner.  These relationships will help you stand out against other shops.

Wine Shop Community

      • Wine Advice – Lean on other store owners for advice with free Facebook wine shop communities. Some are invite-only, so be in touch with other owners to find the most popular communities.

Want more info on getting started in the wine business?