Ohio Spirits 2018 Q2 - 32

"The signage describes the different flavor profiles for various regions where scotch is produced,"
Homlitas says. "So if a customer says they want
something with a rich flavor, I can recommend one
of our Highland scotches and easily find it on the
shelf for them."
"Even customers who don't ask for help can read
these signs and get a better idea of what kind of bottle they're buying," he adds.
Because of the AOI, liquor sales were up at the
end of 2017 and, with holiday shoppers visiting the
store in December, the new signage and store organization helped direct them to what's new, what's local
and what's on sale. "Probably one of the best ideas
was the Last Call section," Homlitas says. "It was a
great way to move items and it really worked."
Homlitas says it's easier to keep track of inventory now, and the AOI helped with marketing in an
unexpected way when One Stop Shop was featured
in the local newspaper, the Youngstown Vindicator.
"We were definitely happy about that," he says.

that before there was a great deal of advertisement
posted throughout the Agency. "The Whiskey 5 aisle
featuring a dozen of the more premium whiskey
brands we carry brightened up a dead wall and
includes nice pamphlets to educate people about the
products in that section," he says.
The AOI drove sales tremendously, with North
Court Beverage posting a 14 percent increase in
sales from October to December compared to the
previous year. "Out of the six participating stores
in the state, we had the highest increase in sales,"
Stevens says.
North Court Beverage by Buehler's will continue
carrying out the program, and the store has plans
to move into the nearby Buehler's grocery store in
the future.
"Overall, the AOI helped brighten up our store
and it prompted people to ask more questions,"
Stevens says.


In any retail setting, there comes a time to "reset" and
refresh to keep up with trends, improve organization
and create a better shopping experience, says Daniel
Davis, Giant Eagle Store Leader in Columbus, Ohio.
"That's exactly what happened with the AOI initiative," he says.
Located on the northwest side of Columbus,
Davis' Giant Eagle store faces quite a bit of competition-both from other Agencies and the abundance
of new construction in the area.
"This Agency has been running strong," Davis
says, noting how the AOI both streamlined and
cleaned up the look, feel and setup of the liquor
department. "Everything is easier to find," he says.
AOI aligns with Giant Eagle's store resets-and
this particular location is 86,000 square feet overall.
"We see immense value in this, and while it's always
a challenge when you introduce change to team members, it's ultimately about maximizing convenience
for our customers and realizing efficiencies in stocking," Davis says. "We see a lot of positive results, so
we are excited to see the long-term benefits of the
agency optimization project."
Additionally, new releases featured on end-caps
with signage are an effective marketing tool, Davis
adds. "If new products just get put on a shelf, people
won't recognize them as being new items," he says.
Now, the bourbon and whiskey shelves are at the
front of the Agency. "Bourbon is really hot now and
we expanded on that with a greater selection than

Signage sparks conversation-and inspiration to try
new products. That's what Bill Stevens learned after
North Court Beverage, which was recently acquired by
Buehler's Fresh Foods, adopted the AOI. Education
builds loyalty, he says, adding: "You can either win over
a customer by what you know, or you can chase them
away if you don't know what you're talking about."
Education is always an initiative for Buehler's,
Stevens says. Its employees go through Glazer's
University programs to build knowledge on beer,
wine and spirits. As a member of the Ohio Grocer's
Association, Buehler's is plugged into opportunities to
enhance its operation. So, when Buehler's North Court
Beverage (the Agency is located next to the grocer) was
invited to participate in the AOI, the program naturally complemented the company's efforts.
"Selling soup and selling liquor is different,"
Stevens says, adding that the AOI store reset was
tailored for Buehler's Agency and offered uniform
signage including color-coded shelf toppers and some
feature sections, including the Whiskey 5 Wall and
Last Call. The New Item section drew attention to
those products. "It drives trial and exploration,"
Stevens says. "Some people come in and know what
they want-they have their blinders on and go right
to their product. Others are interested in shopping,
and that signage has worked out great for them."
The signage reduces clutter, Stevens adds, noting





Ohio Spirits 2018 Q2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ohio Spirits 2018 Q2

Ohio Spirits 2018 Q2 - Cover1
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Ohio Spirits 2018 Q2 - 3
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Ohio Spirits 2018 Q2 - Cover3
Ohio Spirits 2018 Q2 - Cover4