Category Archives: Industry News & Events

Wine At The Ballpark?

Dear Retailer,

Last week, I attended a Seattle Mariner’s game and was pleasantly surprised by the choice of beers available. Instead choosing between regular macro lager and light macro lager, I was offered a host of local and imported beer featuring many different styles. While beer has long been the traditional beverage of the ballpark, wine has made its way into the offerings.

This summer, we have been highlighting wine’s presence in places traditionally dominated by beer. As America’s consumption of wine continues to increase and wine consumers continue to become more diverse, wine continues to appear in new places. We thought we would share an article with you in honor of the MLB playoffs being just around the corner.

Cheers,

True Fabrications

New Natural Packaging in the Wine Industry

Dear Retailers,

You must know the increasing popularity and organics.  Wherever you look these days, almost every kind of food can be found in an organic option.  Part of a larger going green trend, organic has even gone outside of food and moved into clothing, cosmetics and product packaging, just to name a few. While organic may be the natural option, anyone who has been to the organic section of a store knows organic products come with a heavy price tag.

However, the one industry organic prices have not followed this trend is the wine industry. Believe it or not, certain studies have shown that wines labeled organic actually sell for less. At the same time, organic certified bottles that are not labeled as organic actually sell for more than their standard non-organic production equivalents. Why is this happening you ask? Check out this article for the full story, its quite interesting.


Do you offer green, organic or sustainable products in your store? Sustainable products are the latest trend to really take over the market. From home appliances that use less water and electricity, to reusable shopping bags, companies everywhere are seeing new markets open up in the rapidly growing field of sustainable and natural products. While they’re sometimes more expensive, green products are good for our ever growing planet and make customers feel good when they make purchases. Empowering people to make a difference through a sustainable product line is a great way to create a loyal customer base. People like to feel they can make a difference, and something as small as natural packaging can give them the opportunity.

Because of this, True Fabrications decided to take some of our best selling products, and a few new items, and package them in our own natural packaging.  Our new natural packaging is made from 100% recycled kraft paper, printed with soy ink, and securely fastened with Raffia ties. This packaging is environmentally friendly and a great way to offer the same True Fabrications products but with a  green option for your customers. 

WISE Study: Sales Tips for your Wine Store or Tasting Room

Dear Retailer,

We recently received a newsletter e-mail from Wines & Vines featuring some interesting tasting room statistics produced by The WISE Academy. We thought we’d pass them along to you as you will probably find them interesting and relevant to your store or tasting room. From 500 anonymous tasting rooms and shops surveyed, “only 40% of tasting room professionals ask for the sale”. This means 60% of visitors are slipping by. Consider how many missed sales opportunities are occurring due to a lack of closing on sales.

The newsletter also included four interesting sales ideas. 1st: Focus on local items. Customers love items that are specific to a region, especially if they are traveling and feel this in the only place it is available. 2nd: Make stock look abundant. According the newsletter, thin stock looks picked over and abundance of products will pull people in. 3rd: keep track of sales performance by non-wine items and clear out the poor sellers by lowering prices and consider moving the top sellers up a dollar. After all, accessories are a great way to gain a 100% return on your investment if you have a good seller. Finally, if you want to move accessories, foods and other non-wine items, make a display in the middle of a walk way that slows people down. As the article said, “items in the shadows, stay in the shadows”.

Consider these stats and ideas as you plan for the fall and winter. Have a great weekend!

Cheers,

True Fabrications

A Toast To Gary Vaynerchuk

Dear Retailer,

For the past 5 1/2 years, self made wine giant Gary Vaynerchuk has been entertaining wine lovers and educating those new to the world of wine through the power of social media. On August 23rd, Gary announced his retirement from his very popular web-videos.
Turning his father’s liquor store into a $50 million a year wine business called Wine Library, Gary harnessed the power of social media and created a story that is truly inspirational. Since 2006, Gary has been posting videos on the web via Wine Library TV and his newer video site Daily Grape.
Vaynerchuk entertained and educated people through colorful descriptions, and sometimes zany antics, all while trying to make wine more accessible. While promoting wine, Gary also became a model for both entrepreneurship and branding via social media. From the 10s of thousands of people who watch his videos to his almost 900,000 twitter followers, Vaynerchuk has created a personal brand that has translated to book deals and speaking tours. We would encourage those who do not know about Gary to do some reading and consider the benefits social media might have for your business.
Cheers,

True Fabrications

1 More Reason To Enjoy Wine This Summer

Greetings Retailers,

With all the studies discussing the benefits of red wine consumption, people hardly need one more excuse to enjoy a glass this summer. However, a new study now draws links between wine consumption and protection from UV rays. This very timely summer related study can be seen here.

As wine grows closer and closer to becoming a super food, we wanted to draw attention to more good news for wine lovers everywhere. While we don’t suggest replacing SPF with your summer red of choice, take solace in the fact that your picnic wine might help protect you from the sun’s damaging rays.

When it comes to picnic season, True Fabrications has everything you need to make your summer outings a success. From our new collapsible carriers, to our three bottle tote with glassware, a bottle opener and other supplies, check out True Fabrications’ newest arrivals for all the best summer items. Finally, no picnic would be complete without picnic stix. Have a great weekend and take advantage of summer’s last month.

Cheers,

True Fabrications

Economy Wine in a Changing Market

Dear Retailers,

Since 2008, many industries have had to shift their focus to keep up with consumer needs. While wine has managed to weather the storm better over the last three years than other industries, the price points and goals of the consumer have changed. In pre-recession times, there was a large focus on brand names and expensive labels. While this market still exists, the recession also developed a new niche for enterprising wine makers. As the recession set in, a need for less expensive, drinkable/enjoyable wines developed. Many winemakers have taken up the challenge of trying to create the best bottle for the consumer’s dollar.

Check out this story about a wine importer that adjusted it’s portfolio in order to keep up with the changing market. These affordable bottles can actually be turned into a great marketing tool in your store. Many stores have offered “recession specials” and highlighted or added lower priced, high quality wines. A wine shop in my neighborhood has a section that offers 100 wines from around the world for $10 or less. This is a great way to try different and very affordable bottles. Have you considered promoting a lower price point section in your store? We would love to hear about it.

With over 800 products, we try to provide our customers with options at every price point. No matter what you’re looking for, we will do what we can to get you the right product to satisfy your store’s needs. Also, if you ever need something that we don’t have, please share your ideas; we’re always looking for new product ideas and suggestions.

Cheers,

True Fabrications

Recyclable and Reusable Wine Products

Dear Retailers,

To combat the ever increasing use of raw materials and the subsequent rise in prices for wine, one group in California is taking a page out of history. Returning to days past when milk bottles were collected, cleaned and reused, Wine Bottle Renew in Sonoma is trying to take the same approach by sanitizing and reusing wine bottles. The reuse of bottles is already practiced in other countries around the world. Both Canada and Denmark, among others, have adopted the process for their beer industries. For more on this story, see the following article.

We at True Fabrications have found recycled products made from wine barrels and wine bottles to be extremely popular.  Our line of glassware made from recycled wine bottles (including a wine glass, beer glass, and tumbler) are a fantastic opportunity to cross sell with organic wines.  True Fabrications also has an exquisite line of handmade  recycled wine barrels products including serving plates, cheeseboards, candelabras, wine racks, and even our newest dog bed!

As recycling and reusing items becomes more fashionable, businesses have found great success in carrying recycled or reused products. Whether you’re making something new out of recycled material, or rebuilding something out of an old product, recycled items are an easily marketable line of products that every store should take advantage of. From lower prices, to environmental benefits, we think recycled and reused products are great for the retail floor.

Cheers,

True Fabrications.

Flash Sale Websites for Wine

Dear Retailers,

Consumers shopping online over the past couple years have discovered a variety of websites offering wine at spectacular deals.  Wine.woot.com comes to mind as probably the most popular site offering daily wine deals (while woot.com provides deals on a variety of electronics).  It’s hard for traditional wine retailers to provide such deep discounts since these online retailers can clear out inventory quickly and in huge volumes.  This interesting New York Times article  points out that as much as 25% of total online wine sales are generated through these deep discount wine websites.  As the economy improves and wineries no longer have excess supply, these discounted wines and the variety that these flash websites offer should predictably decline.  However, with $100 million in annual sales, it’s a trend all retailers should pay close attention to if only to get some insight into the overall surplus (or lack there of one day) in the wine industry.

Cheers!
True Fabrications
www.truefabrications.com

How to Sell More Housewares

Dear Retailers,

True Fabrications recently attended the International Housewares show in Chicago (in case you missed us there, you can also see the other wine related shows we are going to around the country).   We met some fantastic people within our industry and also picked up a great deal of knowledge about helping retailers increase their overall housewares sales.  Housewares sales, for the most part, are dominated by mass merchandisers or super centers.   Wine stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, etc. don’t seem to do as well as they should with housewares considering they enjoy more frequent visits from their customers.  There seems to be two important reasons for this.

The first is that these types of wine/food/liquor stores are used to high velocity items and don’t like the idea of dedicating space to slower velocity housewares items.   The second reason is that housewares are not appropriately or effectively cross merchandised with these high velocity food/wine/liquor items to maximize their sales.   These are easy obstacles to overcome especially within your wine and liquor departments.   As wine has grown in popularity, so too have wine accessories and wine homeware.   Appropriately merchandising these products throughout your stores and departments is the key to success in generating increased velocity of these high margin items.   We have discussed in the past simple cross merchandising by using for sale wine racks, gift boxes, and cheese boards within your wine displays.  .Or creating space within each wine aisle that features some functional and fun corkscrews or wine accessories to provide a visual break from the rows of wine labels.  There are several ideas and I’m sure as retailers, you have millions more.  We encourage you to try and test out new approaches.   And while you are at it, read this blog article in the Supermarket News about why generating housewares sales is a trend you’ll want to keep up with.

Cheers!

True Fabrications

Relaxing the Liquor Laws?

Dear Retailers,

As state and local governments continue to deal with budget shortfalls and a high unemployment rate, discussions over relaxing age old liquor and wine laws have become more prevalent.  New York generates the most attention as they continue their long debate over allowing grocery stores to sell wine and liquor.  New York is not alone.  Tennessee, Kansas, and Oklahoma have discussed similar options for expanding the number of wine/liquor outlets.  The Pennsylvania government started hearings to discuss privatizing the huge state monopoly on liquor and wine while Texas and Connecticut deliberate over allowing alcohol sales on Sundays.  All these discussions for expanding brick and mortar licenses continue while a host of states ponder changes to their cross border wine shipment laws to deal with growing online wine sales.

In any case, these discussions are not new, but they have taken a new tone as every municipality struggles to generate revenue they need desperately.   We feel that 2011 will be a very interesting and productive year in terms of legislative changes that may fundamentally change the way wine is sold throughout the United States (both on and offline).  It’s hard keeping up with all the changes but we look forward to updates from our customers around the country and from great industry resources like the newsletters from the ABL.
We love talking about these issues so don’t be shy to bring them up and give us your perspective anytime!

Cheers!
True Fabrications