Publisher’s Note

Start The Year Off Right

WJP hires ith the coming of the new year, it has become a tradition at Beverage & Food Dynamics to select a dynamic, successful beverage alcohol retail operation that has shown a commitment to forward-thinking and innovative ideas. We are proud to award the Beverage &Food Dynamics 1998 Retailer of the Year to Gold Standard Enterprises, under the direction of chief executive officer Michael Binstein. The chain has taken a long, hard look at the marketplace and created an ambitious plan to expand dramatically into the arena of beverage alcohol superstores.

During almost 50 years, Gold Standard stores have become symbols of Chicago-area retailing. Now with Binny’s Beverage Depot superstores, the chain has taken a leap to the next level of beverage alcohol retailing. With large, spacious stores, highly competitive prices, a commitment to service excellence and an incredibly wide selection of wine, beer and distilled spirits, Binny’s is Gold Standard’s future. Indeed, ceo Michael Binstein has plans to be operating up to 25 Binny’s by the year 2002 in the greater Chicago area, with total sales approaching $300 million.

Interestingly, Binstein makes the point that so many other successful retailers make: given the realities of the marketplace, offering low, everyday prices, an extensive product selection and superior service should not be mutually exclusive. In fact, it becomes necessary to offer consumers a minimum of all three to keep growing the bottom line.

This is not a radical idea, but, as all retailers know, it is not easily accomplished, otherwise everyone would be doing it, and doing it well, making lots of money in the bargain. And it’s not done with smoke and mirrors either. Like Binstein, successful retailers are those who challenge themselves to keep improving their businesses. They have the vision to recognize that the market is always changing and that they must have the flexibility to adapt with it. And then, they must have the commitment to make significant investments to carry out their vision.

To start the year off right, retailers should reevaluate every aspect of their business, and see where improvements can be made. As simple as it sounds, retailers should make a list of the ways they currently conduct business — sales promotions, staff training, inventory levels, merchandising activity, store design, etc. — and rethink each area, with the goal being to maximize profits. And while there are no easy answers, the first important step is to begin asking questions.


In the spirit of the new year, we congratulate Gold Standard Enterprises and Michael Binstein on being named the Beverage & Food Dynamics 1998 Retailer of the Year.


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