Many people may assume that the main difference between residential wine racks and retail wine racks is the overall size, yet they are unaware that there are several other key differences found between the two types of wine racks.
While sizes can be significant differentiators between the two, other factors, such as construction, layout, and total capacity are key components that make retail wine racks able to meet the diverse needs of business owners.
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Where Are Retail Wine Racks Most Commonly Found?
There are four primary locations where retail wine racks are used. These are grocery stores, liquor stores, gourmet food stores, and wine specialty stores.
Of these four locations, the latter two tend to cater to higher-end wine sales, therefore, requiring more visually appealing display racks. Grocery stores and liquor stores, on the other hand, tend to cater their wine sales towards a more general market segment, placing less emphasis on the aesthetic appeal of the retail wine rack and more emphasis on how well it is able to blend in with the rest of the store’s display systems.
Many smaller businesses, such as drugstores and convenience stores, are now beginning to offer limited selections of wine to their customers. Since these wine sales only represent a small fraction of their overall product selection, the retail wine racks used tend to be rather compact. These same compact racks, however, can also be used in larger establishments to highlight a particular brand or type of wine near the front of the store.
Upscale Retail Wine Racks
In a wine specialty store of gourmet food store, the shopping environment is highly geared towards upscale design. This desired visual environment does not always lend itself well to metal shelving systems and plain racks, as would be found in a grocery store or liquor store. For this reason, the retail wine racks used in these locations tend to be more visually appealing than others.
Often made of fine woods and constructed with a great attention to detail and craftsmanship, these display resemble residential wine racks in overall aesthetic appearance. Their overall design, however, remains focused on retail sales.
Upscale retail wine racks are typically constructed in a manner that allows various types of wine to be displayed in a vertical method.
- The top of the racks will contain a shelving area designed to house a single bottle of a particular wine.
- Beneath the shelf are a series of vertical cubby holes, each designed to accommodate a bottle of the same wine stored horizontally in order to maintain quality.
This allows consumers to be able to see and examine the bottle that is located upright on the shelf, but select a horizontally stored bottle below it for purchase. Periodically, the store personnel will rotate the product to ensure no one bottle stays in a vertical position for any extended period of time.
Standard Retail Wine Racks
While some grocery stores and liquor stores utilize the same display methods as the upscale retailers, the wine racks they use are typically made of somewhat lower quality materials. Metal is the most common material used, not only relied upon for its affordability when compared to wood, but also its frequency of use in both grocery and liquor store environments. This allows the retail wine racks to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the stores shelving materials.
If a mid-level establishment does a fair amount odf regular wine sales, they may opt for a slightly more unique design.
Grocery stores, in particular, are beginning to combine their wine sections with their gourmet and specialty food selections. This allows them to create display units and retail wine racks that are designed to appear somewhat more upscale than the bulk of the store’s merchandising, in an effort to set the wine and specialty foods apart as their own small department.
While these displays may not be as intricate or elegant as those found in wine specialty stores, they are still more refined than standard grocery store display units.
Compact Retail Wine Racks
In areas where the wine selection is extremely limited, small compact racks are typically used and placed near the checkout area. This offers retailers the ability to offer a select number of wine types and brands to their customers as more of a convenience than anything else. In this case, the wine is be marketed to be more of an impulse buy than an intended purchase, removing the importance of the overall look of the retail wine rack.
These compact units are typically made of rubber coated wire, durable enough to support the wine bottles, but not intended for frequent use.
Compact Wine Racks Highlight Sales and Impulse Buys
There are times when compact racks will take on a more visually appealing design. This is often the case in specialty stores which will have two or three of these compact displays near the checkout area. They are typically made from the same fine wood as the primary wine racks, and bear the same quality craftsmanship.
They are designed to give the retailer the opportunity to feature a specific selection of wines. Some may be used to display a new vintage or label on the market, while others may be used to offer convenient access to more seasonal favorites. The products in these racks tend to be changed out on a regular basis, further emphasizing the need for durable construction quality.
Summary: Blend the Options to Meet Your Needs
Ultimately, the way a retail establishment displays and offers their wines for sale is going to be affected by a number of factors: the customers needs, the budget, the business goals, the space available, the amount of sales wine comprises of the overall income and more.
The great news, is that there are a variety of ways for you to handle your needs. You might buy direct from a manufacturer, find something online or in a trade publication, or have a wine rack custom built.