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Wine Merchandising Basics

June 04, 2013

Whether opening a new wine shop, setting up bottles in the tasting room of a winery, restaurant, or thinking about how to arrange bottles in your personal cellar, learning how to properly merchandise wine can help you stay organized, add to the aesthetics of your space, and drive sales. Apex has gathered the basics to help you get started.

Set the mood. Shopping for wine should be as enjoyable an experience as it is to drink it. To get your customers in the mood to purchase, it is important that you create the right environment; organized and easy to shop, clean, and visually appealing. Apex has a wide variety of wood wine rack modules to keep your wine selection organized and ready for purchase. Some of these racks are specifically designed to enhance the retail experience. To add visual interest, use a variety of racks, everything from traditional columns to rounders. You should also match the color of your wine racks to the theme of your existing space. Are you designing a more traditional room? A darker wood such as mahogany may be a good choice. If you’re creating a modern or contemporary space, a lighter colored wood such as cedar will be more complimentary. Whatever your vision, Apex has many different types of wood and rack designs to match your room, no matter your style.  

Space & flow. There are a couple important elements to consider when mapping out your space. The first of these is foot traffic or flow. Customers should have enough space to walk through aisles to browse and make their selections. Racks should be positioned so that the flow of traffic moves from the front of the store to the back, returning to the cash register. The second is visibility. While it is a good idea to maximize wall storage, you want to make sure you do not build the racks on your sales floor so high that customers cannot see that there is more wine available on the other side of the room. Need help mapping out your space? An Apex agent can visit your establishment, take measurements, and formulate how many racks will be right for you based on space allotted and number of bottles. 

Apex Wine Racks in Charlie’s Restaurant. Charlie’s maximizes visibility by displaying wine near the hostess station.

Apex Wine Racks in the Wine Market keep bottles organized. A tasting area was also created for tasting events.

Bottle position. While maximizing your storage capacity is important, you should position bottles so that customers can easily read labels and learn more about the wine that is in stock. Labels tell the story about each individual bottle and create brand recognition, hence the reason their visibility is so vital. You can also add neck hangtags to bottles to extend the marketing message of the wine or even suggest pairings. Some retailers find it effective to store most of their wine in the traditional way (horizontally), leaving select bottles perched for easy identification. Keep important bottles or your “display” bottles at eye level where they are most noticeable.
Tasting. An ongoing trend amongst wine retailers is to offer tasting events. This allows customers to try before they buy and also invites them to visit the store or restaurant regularly. If tasting events are in your future, having a tasting area incorporated into your space is a must. Keeping this space visible to customers on a daily basis builds excitement.  When not in use, you can use these table tops to create interactive displays; allowing customers to test the new wine aerator you have in stock or play with new bottle stoppers. Some of Apex’s wine rack modules come standard with a table top, giving you plenty of options for decanting and serving wine.


Bottles at The Wine Market are displayed at eye level, increasing visibility and making it easy to shop.

Bulk storage. Dedicating space for bulk storage is also a good idea. This can free up space in your storage room for other merchandise and also saves you the hassle of having to walk to the backroom to check stock, keeping customers waiting. Bulk space can also be utilized to house oddly sized bottles that do not fit in traditional 3-¾” universal racking such as magnums, champagne, or splits.
 Now that you are empowered with the basics of merchandising wine, it’s time to start building your display and maximizing sales. Our Apex agents are ready to help your business grow and can even create a CAD design to help you visualize your wine display beforehand. Get started today.
Apex wine rack module with bottles on perches and bulk storage below.


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