- Hy-Vee will open a new alcohol-focused store format called Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits, with four locations planned across Iowa and Nebraska, according to a press release on Wednesday.
- Also on Wednesday, Schnuck Markets debuted a wine club offering deals on certain bottles as well as other perks, like preregistration for wine-focused events. The Schnucks Wine Club costs $24.99 per year and is open to members of the retailer's free rewards program.
- The announcements from the two Midwest grocers come at a time when alcohol sales are still booming but grocers face stiffer competition from other outlets, including restaurants.
Hy-Vee's new alcohol-focused store aims to be a one-stop shop for alcohol with food pairings. The Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits format will include wine, spirits and craft beer along with high-end barware and grocery items like cheese, chips, charcuterie and sodas. The grocer noted its offerings will range from value-priced selections to premium-priced choices.
The upcoming locations will be in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Papillion, Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, with opening dates still to be announced.
Meanwhile, Schnucks is incentivizing rewards members to sign up for its wine club with promotions and perks. Schnucks Wine Club members can get 15% off the lowest price on 750 mL wine bottles on a daily basis, receive deals on select premium bottles, preregister for wine-focused events and receive a newsletter with pairing ideas and insight on trends. For people ages 21 and older who register for the Wine Club membership by Sept. 30, Schnucks will let them earn rewards points on the membership purchase and give them an additional $10 in points.
Industry experts have pointed to the alcohol department as ripe for innovation and experiential offerings, especially after the pandemic gave them a sharper competitive edge with restaurants and liquor stores as shoppers consolidated trips. Carol Spieckerman, president of retail consulting firm Spieckerman Retail, said in an interview late last year that creative merchandising like food pairings and liquor-specific loyalty programs are examples of ways to tap into more alcohol sales.
Data is playing an increasing role as grocers look to leverage insights on shoppers' purchasing behaviors to boost loyalty. Data analytics and technology firm Inmar Intelligence announced on Thursday a new adult beverage media solution using first-party transaction data from grocers like Kroger, Tops and Smart & Final. The technology allows retailers to target purchasers of adult beverage products and measure how media impacts omnichannel sales by the category, brand or universal product code.