Blue Water expands liquor area to up sales
27 August, 2008
Canadian border shop owner Blue Water Bridge Duty Free is battling increasingly tough trading conditions by investing in a refurbished and expanded liquor area.
Work should be completed later this year and will double the size of the liquor department . A wine boutique dedicated to local Canadian icewine is also being installed.
Leading suppliers have supported the retailer with customised merchandising units, many of which will be new to travel-retail .
"For instance, Diageo is building a Diageo Malts Vision unit, which will incorporate a holographic, interactive display into the gondola," vice-president of sales Tania Lee-Hartmann told DI. "Customers will be able to touch a screen, at which point a holographic image will come out at them with the different regions of Scotland and information on malts in that area."
Prior to embarking on the project, Blue Water hired a consumer research firm to conduct exit surveys at its store to determine the identity of its customers; how they shopped; what products they were looking for; and ways to to increase their spending.
"The [research company] then briefed the design company on the results and came up with a traffic pattern and category design layout of the new renovation," said Lee-Hartmann.
- The Ontario-based retailer has seen liquor sales drop by almost 10 per cent this year, while overall turnover is down double-digits. Blue Water blames the poor performance on a slow-down in border traffic caused by congestion and delays due to tightened Customs security procedures.
The cancellation of a tax rebate scheme for foreign visitors has also played a part, as has the incorrect belief among many US citizens that a new law requiring them to carry a passport when crossing into Canada has already come into effect (this happens in 2009).