4 Tips to Open a Profitable Liquor Store in 2021

4 Tips to Open a Profitable Liquor Store in 2021

“The most well-designed liquor stores allow customers the ability to easily navigate your shop and quickly find the products they’re looking for.”

Like most businesses, opening a new store takes a tremendous amount of work and contains a considerable risk, especially in the current retail environment. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the liquor industry is no exception. There are many factors that business owners must be aware of to open and operate a profitable liquor store in 2021.

In fact, increased competition has taken place in the form of convenience stores. In the March 2019 issue of NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Magazine, an article highlights that average per-store liquor sales have increased by 11.8% in convenience stores.

As consumers find greater value in purchasing liquor at their local convenience store, the need for liquor store owners to deliver an exceptional in-store experience has never been more important. From store layout, engaging displays, to events, here are four liquor store ideas for opening a profitable liquor store this year.

Create a Layout Designed for Merchandising

Our number one tip for a profitable liquor store is a well-designed store layout. The placement of your retail store fixtures can make or break your business. The most well-designed liquor stores allow customers to easily navigate your shop and quickly find the products they’re looking for.

Take advantage of end unit shelving to highlight your most popular and profitable products. Wall unit shelving provides retailers the flexibility to the merchandise along the entire perimeter of the store. It helps maximize profitability by displaying large amounts of inventory in front of your liquor store. The placement of your retail sales counter plays a vital role in the success of your business, too. Think about where you want to place your checkout counter and how it compliments your layout flow.

Merchandising also plays a critical part in your overall store layout and design. Along with displaying your products so that customers can easily find what they’re looking for, you’ll also want to increase impulse sales with cross-selling. For example, a customer who purchases tequila may also want to purchase a margarita mix. By pairing two items that are often purchased together, customers can get exactly what they want all in one location, thus increasing their intent to purchase.

Know the Taste Preferences of Your Local Community

Give the customer what they want. Sounds simple, right? New business owners often forget about this simple idea. One way to understand what your customers want is through data available online.

According to a survey by TABS Analytics, New Jersey has the highest amount of consumer wine sales per purchase than any other state in the United States, with neighboring New York following close behind. When operating a liquor store in the Tri-state area, featuring a vast selection of wines worldwide will help you maintain profitability given the tremendous customer demand.

Now let’s get into the beer. The popularity of craft beers has significantly increased with consumers over the past 10 years. If your store’s in a geographic location with popular breweries nearby, featuring those beers can be extremely beneficial to your business, as stocking these products speak directly to local customers.

Another product to consider selling in your store is cannabis-infused beer. From a legislation perspective, each year, more and more states are loosening their laws on cannabis, and many manufacturers have begun testing different cannabis-infused beverages based on market demand. In fact, Food & Beverage Magazine highlights this type of beer as one of the top five alcohol industry trends in 2019. Do you think it’s right for your customers?

Become a Liquor Expert

Although today’s customers can research their alcohol online, many people still enjoy being able to walk into a physical store and talk to a real person about their options, especially when it comes to liquor.

Customers often rely on online reviews to influence their purchases, but by hiring knowledgeable about the industry, liquor stores can find their niche in the competitive marketplace. You’ll often find that customers seek your help when deciding which brand to choose, so be sure to stay educated on the products you sell and help your customers as much as possible.

There’s so much more to being an expert on spirits than knowing which wine should be paired with a steak dinner. With so many brands and flavors available for customers to choose from, people are bound to have questions. Learning as much about the merchandise sold in your liquor store should be a top priority for your business. Your community will appreciate having a steady, reliable place to go to for information and suggestions.

Build Relationships by Planning In-store Events

A fantastic way to bring in customers to your store is by hosting events. These events will allow you to interact face-to-face with shoppers and enable them to try different products. As a result, this will expand their tastes and create more sales for your business. Another simple way to increase profits is to feature wines with high-profit margins so that your customers can become familiar with these spirits.

Events that are often popular within the liquor industry are wine and cheese tastings. I mean, after all, who doesn’t love free food and wine? Most people don’t consider themselves “wine connoisseurs.” Hence, providing wine and cheese pairings is an excellent way to attract new customers and label yourself as a trusted source for liquor-related information.

Another event idea is to host mixology sessions. These sessions provide a fun, casual environment you can efficiently perform inside your liquor store. Teaching your customers new drink recipes is a terrific way to familiarize themselves with what’s available on the market today. We recommend holding these sessions seasonally to capitalize on the possibility of increased sales. For example, in the summer, featuring recipes for cool, refreshing cocktails perfect for hot days.

Now that you have four solid tips for opening a profitable liquor store in 2020, it’s time to put them into action. Before doing so, you’ll need to make sure your store is equipped with the right store fixtures and gondola shelving displays that help makes running a liquor business a breeze.

Getting Started Is Easy

Talk to one of our Store Design Specialists today.

Handy Store Fixtures

Handy Store Fixtures



Headquartered in Corning, New York, Handy Store Fixtures is a United States leading store fixture supplier providing the highest-quality retail display fixtures. We provide independent retailers with a variety of shelving and display options and services designed making the store shelving layout process simple.