Georgina Wild of HIM explains why alcohol is such a great gift

Alcohol is currently a top five gifting purchase in c-stores, but there is still a huge opportunity to drive this further as the majority of retailers are simply not making the most of its potential as an added-value service.

Former national off licence chains offered gift wrapping services that turned everyday bottles of plonk into the perfect gift a bottle of whisky or red wine for dad on Father’s Day, or a bottle of champagne or gin for aunty for her birthday. With the demise of so many high street off licence outlets, convenience stores should be looking to cash in on beer, wine and spirit sales.

We know that 14% of convenience spirits shoppers are buying spirits as a gift, therefore stocking good quality branded products in each alcohol category is a no brainer. And when HIM asked convenience store shoppers which services would encourage them to visit convenience stores more often, a massive 38% said cards, a gift wrapping service and gift bags would definitely make a big difference in terms of their use of c-stores. So, knowing you can get a last-minute present of a decent bottle, nicely wrapped, or at least in a gift bag, is a big help in this busy world we live in, especially during key seasonal events such as Christmas, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Items don’t have to be on promotion simply locating, for example, gift bags next to the relevant products makes life easier for shoppers.

So how about trialing a free gift wrapping service (tissue and ribbon) with any bottle of wine, spirits or champagne? Or selling gift bags hung by your off licence section? You’ll need to promote the service, either by leaflet or in store, or simply by having members of staff asking customers: is it a gift? Would you like it gift wrapped?

Many companies are also willing to help, and will provide suitable pos material related to key seasonal events, so make sure you’re taking advantage of all the help and support that is available.

With so many big events just around the corner, are you ready to cash in?