A liquor store owner who wants to increase profits can try to attract new customers and boost sales by coming up with imaginative reasons for people to visit the store. Special in-store events, for example, can expose customers to new brands and encourage them to widen their range of purchases. Innovative expense-reduction techniques also help profitability.

Stage wine-tasting events in the store. Invite winery representatives to introduce customers to different wines while lecturing about the history of their vineyards. Tastings that expose customers to new wines might lead to more visits to the store.

Bring in a professional bartender every so often to conduct mixed-drink classes. Invite customers to attend and learn how to make cocktails that might seem too complicated to try on their own at home. Focus on drinks using a particular type of liquor to encourage the purchase of different liquors and mixes.

Give wine-pairing classes. Customers can learn from an expert which wines go best with which food and what determines the prices of various wines.

Add to the upscale items in your inventory. If your store becomes known for carrying the better brands, you can lure more connoisseurs, who often spend more money.

Gain industry knowledge by subscribing to specialized newsletters and trade magazines. Stay current with trends in the retail liquor industry. Certain industry sources might provide early warnings on price changes.

Expand your product offering beyond alcoholic beverages. Offer gourmet cheeses, olives and other foods that go well with alcoholic beverages. Use available refrigerator space, such as units used to store cold beer or wine, so you don't have to invest in new equipment. The key is to add items that don't require a lot of additional overhead so more of your sales go to the bottom line. Before starting such a program, check your local ordinances for selling foods at your store.

Hire a professional website designer to create a user-friendly site for your business that makes it easy for customers to find different products and specials. Use the website to build an email list that you can use for informing customers of special sales events. The website can contain articles on wines and spirits, and announcements of in-store events. Offer a service to let customers order via the website for local delivery and shipping to addresses in your wider market area.

Look for ways to reduce your purchasing costs. For example, pay invoices early whenever payment discounts are available. Buy fast-moving inventory in bulk and negotiate a lower price with your suppliers. Use an inventory monitoring system to ensure that you aren't overbuying any stock.

Examine payroll expenses. If you find that you don't need employees to work as many hours as they have, cut their hours and fill in the down time yourself. Saving money on labor can help boost your profitability.


Hire sales assistants who are knowledgeable about wines and spirits, or at least are interested in learning.