It has been about 6 months since Christy Clark opened the “100% B.C. wine-on-shelves” model concept at Save-On-Foods Orchard Park Kelowna store. From a qualitative standpoint, based on my frequent visits to our local grocery store, business has grown rapidly.
The Keys to Successful Growth
Here is my take on why Save-On-Foods has been successful?
- There is a wide selection of BC VQA wines available, over 900 varietals of BC VQA wines from approximately 150 wineries
- The wine display was right in the front of the store and very visible as soon as you walk in the store door.
- The staff were well trained and knowledgeable.
- The wine tastings are handled professionally by knowledgeable winery representatives.
- There is also a good selection of wine in the cooler display case!
- Most importantly they give a 10% discount if you purchase more than 6 bottles of any wine. Some of my friends take advantage of this pricing to obtain discounts similar to the winery wine clubs, without having to take a wine they are not interested in. You can phone the store and have a case of your favourite BC Wine available for local pick up.
Save-On-Foods Stores selling wine
The 11 store location currently selling or planning to sell wine are:
Surrey (SouthPoint and Fleetwood)
Maple Ridge (East)
Kelowna (Orchard Plaza and Mission Park)
White Rock (Semiahmoo Mall)
Prince George (Spruceland) to be open in mid-September.
Kamloops should open in mid- October.
Kamloops and Vernon
In Kamloops, the council will allow Save-On-Foods to sell wine in an about-face. In a marathon meeting, the council reversed the May decision with a 5-1 in favour of wine in Save-On-Foods.
Meanwhile in Vernon, the battle rages with the independent liquor stores trying to influence the council to stop grocery wine sales. Fearful that grocery store chains are planning to buy local licenses to sell wine, the owners hope to convince city council not to grant them.
“It could have a huge impact,” said Claus Larsen, general manager of the Vernon Atrium Hotel & Conference Centre. The BX Creek liquor store resides beside the hotel building. “It could affect staff as we have seen in other communities.”
Hopes for the Future
It is still my hope, but more like a dream, that Costco will be successful in winning one of the “wine in grocery store” lotteries and BC wine lovers will get the same pricing breaks on wine as our Alberta neighbours.
Would love to hear your comments on your BC Wine in Grocery stores experience!