Home Wine Business Editorial Three Tier Talk 5 Cannot Miss Tricks to Help 2016 Finish Strong

5 Cannot Miss Tricks to Help 2016 Finish Strong


Expert Editorial

Retailers and Distributors, we are here, we are at the end of 2016. November and December is about to get rolling and it is time to be proactive.

There are 8 weeks left in 2016 and here are 5 cannot miss tricks to increase your depletions and your retail sales.

I look at sales as a two-fold attack.

  1. Getting customers in the stores or account
  2. Actually having the right goods to sell them


From a retailer standpoint I recommend talking to your distributors about sales, shelf, and shopper data. Data is not just a buzzword in tech now; it is actually the best way to measure business. Your distributors have more data than you could possibly use, and much of it is critical.

When I was CEO of Sam’s in Chicago and then again as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers we supplied data to the biggest producers globally and retailers should take advantage of this when they can.

I would ask my distributor partners: what are the top 100 SKU’s sold within the zip codes that I operate? I would ask the distributor for what the optimal shelf set was based on data driven shopping trends? This information is available, and any distributor worth your vote can share it with you at the retail level.


As a consultant, my biggest client was Anheiser Busch in St. Louis. ABI has unlimited data and access to over 500,000 liquor license accounts nationally. With all that access and all that data, one thing resonated. Items that are stacked have a 17% life advantage over non-stacked goods. It is just that simple. Buy into stacking, and sell out stacking.


Here is another lay up tip for the 2nd tier. In a recent study from Rosen Retail, it was discovered that over 93% of on and off premise accounts are operating from a cash flow negative position.

What this means is that distributors, during the course of learning about your client, should know common payroll practices. Why you ask? Because the 3rd tier will have more free cash flow in off weeks from payroll and have more money in the beginning of the month than the end. As distributors, it is our job to sell into accounts during a time when the opportunity for success is greater. Selling a product into an account on a payroll week or EOM when rent, taxes, etc. are due is only limiting the chance of success.


This was a specialty at Sam’s Wines and other national retailers like Binny’s, Total Wine and ABC as well. Run a query for under sold/performing SKU’s in your inventory and then basket them together in themes: “Taste of California,” “European Adventure,” etc. This will eliminate dead SKU’s and raise cash from underperforming inventory.


If you are a retailer or distributor in the year 2016, it is likely that you have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program. For distributors, run reports of under sold accounts and attack them. Why you ask? Attacking the accounts that are already good accounts is wasted time, they are already buyers. Look at the underserved accounts as free sales. Often times, all those accounts need is TLC and they will become buyers.

There you have it, 5 tips that you can utilize if you are in any tier of the three tier system. Happy selling.

Brian RosenExpert Editorial
by Brian RosenRosen Retail Method

Brian Rosen is Former CEO of America’s #1 Retailer, Sam’s Wines in Chicago, Former Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Retail and sought after retailer consultant.

He can be reached at @roseretail or [email protected]

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