Mobile Pop Up Wine Shop Makes Purchasing More Convenient

Writer: Jon Shoulders
Provided Photography

As the retail industry becomes increasingly specialized and online-driven, a new service from Big Red Liquors has the statewide company hoping to reach more wine drinkers than ever before.

At December’s Bourbon Expo at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Big Red unveiled The Wine Hole, a mobile wine concept that allows the company to bring a variety of its wine products directly to consumers at special events, festivals and private functions. An accompanying mobile application will allow users to purchase wine on their smartphone and choose from 57 Big Red pickup locations.

“Basically it’s those two components that we’re bringing together – the physical part where we’ll be at events, and then the app,” says Matt Colglazier, vice president of merchandising and marketing for Big Red Liquors. “We can go to an event like a winery might do, and have people sample wine. We can load everything into a van, and show up anywhere and pour under our license legally.”

Colglazier first began formulating the idea after noticing the large number of wine tastings that occur throughout the state at festivals and special events, and realizing that many wine companies were using such events primarily as branding exercises rather than sales opportunities.

“Instead of filling out order forms or having to remember a wine to go and buy at one of our stores later, we have the app that all the products that people are tasting at an event are loaded onto,” he says. “So they just open the app and buy the product right then and there.”

Customers that download the mobile application will get notifications of special sales and be able to ask questions on the app about products, in addition to being able to make purchases and schedule pickups at a Big Red Liquors store of their choice.

“We’re trying to make it easier to where you get on your phone, put the products in your basket, set where you want to pick it up and be done with it,” says Jim Gooley, wine director for Big Red. “You get a notification when the wine is ready at the store for you to pick up.”

Gooley says since state and federal laws limit the ability of retailers to ship wine directly to individual consumers, he hopes The Wine Hole will reach a portion of the market that might be interested in purchasing wine more regularly but would prefer the added convenience of browsing and purchasing via smartphone and choosing a pickup spot.

“When you download the app on your phone, you may have visited The Wine Hole at a special event or festival, but if we do an event three weeks later at a wedding planning show or something like that, you’re going to get a notification that wines are on sale at The Wine Hole,” Gooley says. “So you won’t have to be there but you can look at the sales that are going on.”

With the rise in mobile application technology and popularity in the last five years, Colglazier says the timing is perfect for his company to launch an app-driven wine concept. Big Red Liquors will begin featuring Wine Hole signage at its stores throughout Indy in 2018 to promote the service.

“You have to be different to try to get to the consumer nowadays,” Colglazier says. “Traditional retail is going away. People’s habits have caught up to technology, and it’s time for retailers to take what they’re doing to the next level.”

To learn more and access The Wine Hole mobile application, visit wineholepopup.com.

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