Mapping out our whisky range

Bottles of whisky

Working with Maxxium, we have produced an attractive set of POS that helps our customers understand the world of single malt whiskies much easier than before by splitting our range into the key geographic whisky regions.

by Antony Begley

Single malt whisky is a great category for local retailers: it’s high cash margin, it doesn’t take up much space, it attracts affluent customers and it enhances the feel and ambience of the store. But with over 100 Scottish single malt distilleries alone, where do you start when it comes to choosing a range and presenting it so that customers can understand your offering?

That was the question that we were asking ourselves, so we decided to enlist the support of our official spirits Partners Maxxium. Category Development Manager Paul Smith was quickly on the case and after some prolonged discussion it was jointly agreed to provide a range of malts split by key geographic region: Highland, Speyside, Lowland, Islay.

Mix it up

To decide which lines to include, we took a vey pragmatic approach by including a mix of top selling malts and mixing it up with more unusual offerings, several of which we already had in stock.

The range has now been split across two shelves with hanging signage and dedicated shelf wobblers helping to highlight the offering from each region and offering some basic tasting notes on what customers can typically expect from malts coming from that region.

Paul Smith commented: “What we’re trying to achieve here is to make it easier for customers to understand what’s in front of them on the shelf. Lots of customers will be very familiar with the whisky regions and the various styles of whisky, but many more will have very little understanding – so we’re trying to make easier for them to buy in confidence. This is particularly important when shoppers are buying whiskies as a gift. Gerry and the team can now ask, ‘what type of whisky does the person you’re buying the gift for normally drink?’. If it’s heavy and peaty, they can be steered towards an Islay malt, if it’s light and elegant, Speyside might be the best place to look.”

The upshot is a much cleaner, neater and more attractive fixture that has now become a small feature of the store.

The range is also part of our drive to offer more and more reasons for the more affluent customers in our catchment area to visit the store.

For the same reasons, it is our intention to significantly expand the range of spirits we offer at Woodlands Local, including a wide array of gins, vodkas, rums and bourbons.