Retailers Go The Distance To Meet Year-End Demand 

’Tis the season for the off-premise to spread holiday cheer through events, promotions, and advertising.

Harry’s Happy Bottle Shops in North Dakota gets festive with in-store and outdoor decorations while featuring holiday-themed videos on its social media channels.
Harry’s Happy Bottle Shops in North Dakota gets festive with in-store and outdoor decorations while featuring holiday-themed videos on its social media channels.

Marching to the beat of a strong supply chain, beverage alcohol retailers are drumming up business on social media and stocking their stores with seasonal favorites and gift offerings. “We have had a very exciting calendar of marketing campaigns and events this year,” says Mike Fisch, director of innovation at Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, which has four stores in New Jersey and one in Napa, California. “It’s likely been our most action-packed schedule since we opened in 1987. These campaigns and events are being promoted across various channels, including email, SMS, push notifications, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Bing, and TikTok.”

Throughout November and December, Gary’s has hosted more than 62 in-store tastings and engraving events in its four stores, including Moët Hennessy VIP Champagne tastings ($56 a 750-ml. of Nectar Impérial to $85 for the Ice Impérial Rosé). “In partnership with Moët Hennessy, we offered free luxury Champagne tastings and engraving events,” Fisch says. “These events allow guests to personalize their holiday gifts with complimentary engravings. Following each event, we invited VIP guests to join us for a guided tasting of higher-end Champagnes in the Moët Hennessy portfolio, along with paired food selections from our gourmet department.”

Gary’s also hosted tasting events for Louis Roederer Cristal ($310 a 750-ml. of Brut), Harridan vodka ($55 a 750-ml.), and Kawama Tequila & Soda ready-to-drink cocktails ($12 a four-pack of 12-ounce cans). Engraving events were also held for Johnnie Walker Blue ($190 a 750-ml.), Ardbeg ($70 for the 10-year-old), and Glenmorangie ($43 for the 10-year-old).

Other promotional activities include Gary’s Top 10 Wines of the Year, a Domaine de la Romanée-Conti VIP dinner, and campaigns for 20% off Gary’s Direct Wines and 10% off Vault Wines for the month of December. Gary’s also created a unique Champagne Lover’s Gift Set ($130). “We sold out of these sets in less than a week,” Fisch says. 

Austin, Texas-based Twin Liquors Fine Wine & Spirits has also hosted tastings and bottle engravings across many of its more than 100 locations, with flagship stores hosting larger scale holiday entertaining wine and spirits classes. “We are featuring a handful of gift sets focused on high-volume seasonally appropriate items and gift wrapping,” says marketing director Sandra Spalding. “We are celebrating the season on social media with recipes and wine-pairing suggestions.”

Twin Liquors Fine Wine & Spirits offers gift wrapping (pictured) and hosts tastings at its more than 100 locations in Texas.
Twin Liquors Fine Wine & Spirits offers gift wrapping (pictured) and hosts tastings at its more than 100 locations in Texas. (Photo by Giant Noise Public Relations)

North Dakota-based Harry’s Happy Bottle Shops are decorated inside and out in celebration of this holiday season. The three Fargo and two Grand Fork stores have Christmas decorations inside, and the outside roof lines of each building are lit up in green and red lights. “With the ever-changing landscape of marketing from traditional to social media, we try to utilize a wide range of things,” says CEO Dustin Mitzel. “For traditional media we have warm, holiday-branded TV and radio commercials. We utilize social media to highlight fun gift ideas and create a warm holiday feeling. We have a company that produces Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube videos.”

For the holidays, a video series has been created featuring different holiday drinks. “The videos are geared towards older Gen Z and Millennials, but also have broad appeal with our Gen X and Baby Boomer customers,” Mitzel says. “We have displays of gift sets, holiday nogs, gift baskets and the typical holiday beverages people are looking for during the holidays.”

In Newburgh, New York, Mid Valley Wine & Liquor is looking to meet the needs of all its customers. “The most important thing for us this holiday season is to be everything to everyone, from consumers looking to spend $10 on a bottle to $10,000 on a bottle and everything in between,” says spirits buyer Daniel Walski. “We have put more focus into advertising on a new variety of platforms to get the word out that Mid Valley will have the perfect gift for anyone, as well as the guaranteed lowest prices in our state.”

Mid Valley has increased its focus on all the miscellaneous items that can easily slip through the cracks while targeting the big items. “If Christmas is around the corner, it’s time to remember Frangelico ($27.20 a 750-ml.), Sambuca ($23.20 a 750-ml.), Disaronno Amaretto ($41.23 a 750-ml.), and all of the other weird and wonderful liqueurs,” Walski says. “Additionally, Tequila continues to dominate, and we’ve expanded to over 250 different offerings. As always, we’ll have plenty of gift sets and sparkling wines on hand.”

Mid Valley’s supply chain has continually improved over the past two years. “While there are still plenty of out-of-stock items, the turnaround has been much quicker and for the most part all of the staple items have been available,” Walski says. “Limited availability and allocations continue to be a challenge. We do our best to have plenty of alternative options available for our customers. This year we have made a great effort at getting everything we need in advance of the holidays to allow us to focus on helping our customers without the stress of ordering and receiving deliveries. We’re looking forward to a fun, busy, seamless and strong close to the year.”