Displaying the Merchandise

Customers walking into a store that carries beverage alcohol are often faced with overwhelming selection. The selection of products on display acts as a natural narrowing of choices, greatly influencing buying patterns. But which types of alcohol, and how many cases of each, to put on display varies among different types of retail establishments.

Below you’ll see a selection of data highlighting how drug, grocery and liquor retailers differ in the way they display beverage alcohol in their stores. We’ve included how many of these stores carry beer, wine and spirits, the number of cases each puts on display, as well as the display share for each category by store type.


Collecting the Data

The charts contained in this column came from the most recent Promotrac data, a quarterly stocking study that provides competitive merchandising information within chain and independent retail outlets across 25 metro markets. The study has been conducted for over 25 years and includes a panel of 900 retail locations.

Audits are conducted in March, June, September and December, with every effort made to visit the same stores each period in order to assure trending information is accurate. Metrics reported include incidence of brand-level display, product size promoted, number of cases in display, price on display, location of display and presence of manufacturer POS.


Presenting the Data

First we looked at the share of cases on display for beer, wine and spirits at each retail channel. Wine commands a disproportionate share of the display space in each store type, though that difference is less pronounced in liquor stores than in drug or grocery retailers.

Liquor stores command the largest share of spirits, while grocery stores skew more toward beer than the other two channels. However, all three channels are displaying more wine than the other two categories (between 45 and 50 percent).


In this particular study, 44 drug stores, 145 grocery stores and 361 liquor stores were found to have product on display.  Of those 550 total outlets, 502 displayed spirits, 485 displayed beer and 493 displayed wine. The average number of cases displayed within a location varied greatly (18.5 spirits, 12.4 beer, 27.3 wine).

Looking at the category share in stores found to have product on display, wine is the most prevalent alcohol category found in drug stores, beer is most common in grocery stores and spirits found most often in liquor stores. Overall in stores with displays, all three categories were on display more than 88 percent of the time.


Together the share of display by category and channel looks like this:


Future Research

Taking these charts a step further we could investigate how the data is trending over the past few years. Has beer, wine or spirits increased its category presence at a specific type of retail location more than the other two? Have stocking percentages increased or declined as the economy struggled and now begins to recover?

The other missing piece of the puzzle is whether customer demographics at the different store types influences the mix of beer, wine and spirit displays. We’ll stay on top of how these numbers are moving and report back with trending and demographic information at a later time.


For More Information and Insights

For more about Shelftrac and other products offered by the Beverage Information & Insights Group, please visit www.bevresearch.wpengine.com and www.bevinfostore.com.

Our team offers a number of syndicated and custom causal data collection and reporting options. Syndicated services provide actionable information at a reasonable price, whereas custom audits are flexible and targeted to meet a client’s unique marketing needs. Whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer, distributor or industry expert, we have the right tool to assist with sales, marketing and distribution analysis efforts.

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