Progressive Grocer

JAN 2017

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76 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | January 2017 but it's serving as a gateway to the entire sparkling wine category, which includes such items as Spain's cava. Rosé wines, too, are seeing their status rise as seasonal purchases begin to fade. Atkinson recalls when customers wanted dry rosés only during hotter months: His team would start "Rosé Season" in the spring, with stock diminishing through anksgiving. "We still carry more rosé wines during warmer weather, but consumer demand has led us to main- tain a strong and diverse core of rosé wines from various geographies and price points," he says. Curtis Mann, Raley's director of wine, beer and spirits, also sees rosé's popularity gaining at the West Sacramento, Calif.-based grocer, which Wine Enthusiast magazine recently named Wine Retailer of the Year. He warns, however, that the wine type also is seeing issues with quality inconsistency. But no matter what the selection, it's a grocer's ability to listen and respond that determines its suc- cess in wine. Raley's prides itself — and has built its award-winning wine department — on analyzing data to understand trends and optimize in-store sets, looking outside the data to be in front of and even create trends, and being generally active on social and other forms of local media to educate consum- ers about wine. But within its stores, Raley's certified wine stewards lend an ear and answer questions to help customers find their perfect wine. Listening and responding also helped West- ern Markets grow its renowned wine department. Atkinson notes that his team works hard to listen to requests from customers, even intuiting what the customer doesn't say but might truly mean. "We often help our customers," he says, "by asking four or five — or more — questions for every question they ask us." PG Category Management Beverages For more about beer and wine category management, visit progressivegrocer.com/beerwinecatmanextra.

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