Six Decades of Industry News

Creating A Holiday Atmosphere

November 1935

Even 63 years ago, we were pointing out the importance of creating an inviting and exciting store atmosphere for the holidays. Talking specifically about special holiday packages, we wrote:

“Several alert distillers have already rushed their special holiday packages into distribution and by late November nearly every wine and liquor product will be supplied in some new holiday dress.

“The value of Christmas packages cannot be overemphasized. That an attractive carton can increase the sale of a product is a fact that is daily demonstrated in every store. Holiday cartons, however, are much more than sales packages. Stacked in profusion on shelves and counters and windows, they become a decorative feature that dominates the store. With no additional store decoration, packages can make an exceedingly attractive store interior.


“For dressing up every store for the holidays, packages should be used intelligently and liberally. Although the cost per bottle can hardly be reckoned, distillers are spending thousands of dollars this season on special packages. They have not been moved by sentimentalism, nor are they following an age-old practice merely for the sake of tradition. There are sales in this year’s cartons. The scheme behind every holiday carton is one for volume sales and holiday profits.”

Things, as we all can see, have not changed that much in beverage alcohol retailing since the mid-1930s, at least when it comes to promoting brands around the holidays.

This issue also featured a column by A.L. Singer, the manager of a spirits shop, who declared that offering holiday gift baskets creates new demand for liquor sales. He wrote:

“I would recommend using wicker boxes or other containers that hold three or more bottles. They should have eye appeal and utility value, so that after the contents are consumed the containers can still be used.

“Get out an assortment of various types of boxes and baskets, neat and not too flashy, for one-, two- and six-bottle groups, so that if a customer does not want to buy a special container, you will please him by wrapping it in a holiday box. Holiday wrapping paper and ribbons will help build prestige and keep customers. Also have available, gratis, cards and envelopes so that they may be enclosed within the package.

“Display various gift assortments now. Put them in your window and draw attention to them with show cards. Suggest ordering at once. Have your clerks feel out and advise all customers. Use a circular enclosed with every package. By all means, go after this business, for gifts of liquor are most appropriate at this time of year.”

And those are, indeed, words of wisdom to do business by during the 1998 holiday season.


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