By Frank Pagliaro,
Owner, Frank’s Union Wine Mart
Wilmington, DE

I just read through the May/June issue of Beverage Dynamics and, as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it helpful.

I would like to share with my colleagues a tactic that I have found very helpful and extremely effective to deter shoplifting in the liquor retail industry.

As controlled substance purveyors, we are very fortunate to be the only retailers of any industry that I know of that can go up to any consumer in our shops and ask for their identification. If you were browsing the racks of a CD shop or jewelry store and someone came up to you to ask for ID, you would undoubtedly be confused and insulted. As a liquor retailer, don’t be embarrassed, afraid, hesitant or otherwise to go up to ANYONE who you think may be a shoplifter and say, “Excuse me, you need to be 21 years old to be in this store, may I please see your ID.” Even if they look 50, it doesn’t matter. If they are innocent, they will be flattered. If they are trying to shoplift, the last thing they will do is present you with their ID. They will leave! You know who the “suspects” are, so catch them at the door immediately. Don’t waste your time trying to pretend you’re taking inventory while watching the “suspect’s” every move … don’t even let them walk through the door. You can’t believe how many “suspects” I have requested ID from, and they just turn around and leave … you have the power, so use it.

My favorite episode is when my day manager and I were in my shop alone and a group of six 21- to 25-year-olds all came into the shop together. The usual suspects: wearing long jackets, puffy coats, and hats when it’s 75 degrees outside. We knew they were either going to rob us (which fortunately has never happened in my shop) or go on a shoplifting spree (which I’m sure has happened more than I know). I immediately lowered the jazzy music and made an announcement: “Could everyone in the shop please come to the counter and have your ID out of your wallets?” They all came to the front and complied. I collected all six IDs and said that I would return in two minutes after I made a photocopy of each ID. Four out of the six “suspects” actually purchased product. I don’t know if I made an ass of myself by suspecting they were going to shoplift, or if I scared them into making a purchase so as not to look guilty. Either way, my manager and I felt great about the situation.


Hopefully, this tactic will help all beverage alcohol retailers prevent shoplifting.

Editor’s Note: Beverage Dynamics welcomes responses from retailers, distributors, suppliers and industry-related organizations. In addition, we encourage retailers and others to query us about industry-related issues that they would like to address to our nationwide readership. Please send e-mails to Richard Brandes at rbrandes@adamsbevgroup.com.

Grand Visitor Center in Puerto Rico

Bacardi Ltd. announced the opening of the Casa Bacardi Visitor Center in Cataño, Puerto Rico, a $17 million, 17,000-foot structure meant to celebrate the 150-year history of the Bacardi company.

Located just outside San Juan, on the grounds of Bacardi’s 240-acre distillery, the new facility features seven distinct rooms which visitors can explore on an educational journey. Some of the attractions include: nosing booths that allow visitors to “nose” eight Bacardi rums; a recreation of the company’s Prohibition-era Art Deco bar; a presentation concerning Bacardi’s rum-making techniques; bartending demonstrations of classic rum drinks; and a technology center allowing visitors to send e-video messages to their friends.

“The new Casa Bacardi Visitor center represents the very spirit and soul of Bacardi,” said Ruben Rodriguez, president, ceo and chairman of the board of Bacardi Ltd. “Through this magnificent attraction we share the fascinating history of a family, a brand and a company.”

IRI DATA Describes Who Drinks More Wine

0307nw3Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), a leading worldwide sales and marketing research organization, has released its 2002 full-year Consumer Insights Builder statistics. These statistics track actual consumer buying habits across all U.S. outlets and are an accurate reflection of real purchasing trends among different demographic groupings in many categories.

In the case of overall wine sales, the data shows that older, wealthier, more highly educated people are far more likely to purchase wine than other demographic groups.

[For purposes of measurement, the dollar index ranges from 80 to 120, with 80 and below skewing away from a specific demographic group purchasing wine and 120 and over skewing toward a specific demographic group purchasing wine; 80 to 120 is the normal range.]

For example, consumers who identify themselves as “Doing Well” scored 154 on the index, while those who say they are “Getting By” scored a 54. And those whose household income is $100,000 or more scored a 283, while those with a household income of under $20,000 scored a 61.

In addition, a college-educated male head of household scored 154 while a male head of household without a high school degree scored 36. Likewise, college-educated female heads of households scored 134, while females with less than a high school education scored 40. Interestingly, the smaller the household (one to two persons), the more likely it was to purchase wine (116, versus 58 for a household of five or more persons).

Finally, age is another important indicator of who buys more wine. A male head of household 65 years and older scored 142 while males 30 to 34 scored 50. For females, the results were practically the same.


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