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The liquor store consultants at Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors answer a lot of questions about retail liquor inventory. Our liquor store owner clients want to know what to sell, where and how to display liquor, and how to remedy an underperforming liquor inventory. In most cases, an audit of a liquor retailer’s current inventory, sales volumes, and store setup will reveal how to improve sales and profit.
An audit helps owners discover:
- Inventory sales trends
- Top selling SKUs and product categories
- Overstock and understock SKUs
In conjunction with examining inventory data, our liquor store consultants will also audit your operation, financial reports, store layout and employee training. Because an “inadequate” inventory is rarely the only cause of lackluster financial performance – a holistic look at interconnected factors works best.
A Foundational Inventory Plus Trending Products is a Safe Bet
Liquor products that are perennial sellers – expected by customers and sold by most competitors – are the foundation of your inventory. You’ll always need your foundation and will build on top of it.
Trending liquor products are important, too. Knowing what new or popular alcohol products consumers want will help you meet demand and stay relevant.
Trends may also signal a change that’s here to stay. For example, low and no-ABV product sales have been trending upward for a few years, but the popularity isn’t waning much. Millennials want more healthful choices and because they are the largest buying demographic their purchase habits are influencing the entire retail sector.
In a CBC Radio podcast “Why millennials and Gen Z are helping lead the zero-proof drink surge”, Gail Lynch, CEO of Zero Cocktail Bar in Toronto, and Mitch Cobb, CEO of Upstreet Craft Brewing said that “zero proof” alcohol is not just a trend; it’s a movement that is here to stay.
How to Track Liquor Product Trends
Thrive Advisors recommends that owners/managers stay on top of trend data, including:
Your liquor store Point-of-Sale terminal reports
Most POS systems keep several weeks of sales data and also track inventory on hand. As liquor license consultants we visit many liquor retailers and have seen the various ways stores manage inventory. In our experience, those who have a POS system and know how to use it, have better control over inventory and inventory costs. Those who manage inventory manually are often not as knowledgeable about their products and have stocking issues (overstock, out of stock).
BC Liquor Distribution Branch Liquor Market Review Reports
Quarterly reports include net sales figures by product category and sub-category.
LDB web store
The BCLDB web store (where all BC liquor licensees order inventory) provides sales data that can inform purchase decisions. You can sort product lists by top selling SKUs, products about to become Limited Time Offers (LTOs), products coming out of LTO status or being delisted.
Review competitor’s inventory and pricing to see how your store compares.
Thrive Advisors Makes Liquor Store Inventory Easier than You Think
If you’re concerned that your liquor store inventory is underperforming, the liquor store consultants at Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors can help. We audit inventories, store layouts and displays and make helpful recommendations. Read about our BC liquor licensing services.