“V The Market is part of an untapped market here, and we are anxious to see results of their addition to our local economy,” she said. “I’m interested in watching how they draw new customers to the downtown and what types of purchases they are making.”
Wagner said she hopes the “results” of V The Market’s business and that of the other liquor stores will be positive enough to make them a fixture in the retail economy.
“We may find a new emerging niche market that can be expanded upon in the future,” she said.
Wagner said the Christmas sales season should help liquor stores establish that niche market. And the owners of the three liquor stores agree, and already are gearing up for the season. Each of them already have holiday displays featuring various packages including bottles of sparking wines, champagnes, bourbons, rums, scotches and vodkas.
At V The Market, owner Mary Robin Spoonamore said among the many holiday-related specials she is offering is a variety of gift baskets starting at $25 each that will include cheeses, chocolates and chutneys along with wine. The store also is including at no cost shot glasses, flasks and holiday tins with certain purchases.
“We also are encouraging shoppers to buy a case of wine for the holidays instead of buying one or two bottles at a time and having to keep returning for more,” she said. “We are selling cases at 10 percent off, and we will order wines we don’t have in stock and we also will mix different bottles in each case if they that’s what they want.”
Spoonamore’s store holds wine tastings every Friday night, and they are based on different themes.
The theme of the tasting scheduled for this Friday night is Thanksgiving, she said. “People who come to the Nov. 19 tasting will be able to sample wines that go well with turkey,” she said. So far Spoonamore’s store has done “pretty well” since it opened.
“We have sold quite a lot of wines and bourbons,” she said. “What has surprised us is how well the sales of cheeses have gone. We are constantly reordering cheeses.”
Jeffrey Baird, owner of The Bottle Shoppe, is confident the holiday season will bring a lot of shoppers to his store.
“The holidays are a big time for the spirits business,” he said. “The October-December period is as big for liquor stores as it is for other retail businesses.”
While Baird said the 2010 holiday season obviously will be his first, he is confident that it will be a good one.
“I’m a novice at this but every indication I’m getting is that we will have a really good season,” he said.
To help make his prediction come true, Baird and his employees already have set up displays featuring special holiday packages and are offering other seasonal specials.
“We had our holiday packages on display by the first of November, and we have gift sets and specials on certain brands of scotch, vodka and wine,” he said. “Spirits, especially the ones sold in gift sets, make easy gifts that are well appreciated by people of all ages and both genders.”
The Bottle Shoppe has fared well since its opening about two months ago, Baird said.
“We are a brand new business that has opened in this town at a time that it really needs not only more retail stores but also a diversity of stores,” he said.
“Our store and the other liquor stores should not only be viewed by what products they sell, and that we are selling products that were not sold here for decades, but by what we mean to local retail economy,” he added. “We provide new employment — in our case, eight jobs — and new revenue.”
Andrew Carlton, co-owner of The Liquor Store of Danville, said the holidays typically are the second biggest sales season for liquor stores.
“Summertime usually is the busiest time,” he said. “People hold or attend a lot of outdoor events, like backyard parties and picnics, and those occasions are times when a lot of beer and other spirits are consumed.”
But Carlton said the period that starts in late October and runs through New Year’s Eve also is important revenue-wise for his business. And he wants to make sure his store’s first holiday season in Danville is a good one.
“The holidays are time for the big Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and the New Year’s Eve party, plus parties and other special occasions throughout the season,” he said. “We have a wide variety of domestic and imported wines, sparkling wines, champagnes, bourbons, scotches, rums and other spirits in various price ranges that are excellent to serve at holiday occasions or to buy as gifts.”
One of the first holiday packages offered at Carlton’s store featured several well-aged spirits, including a 21-year-old scotch and high-end champagnes, sparking wines and bourbons.
“We have a bottle of Silver Oak cabernet that sells for $101, or you can buy a bottle of something decent but obviously not as well aged or produced for as low as $3.99,” he said.
One of the more popular holiday gifts for Kentucky liquor stores is a bottle of good bourbon, like Maker’s Mark or Wild Turkey. He expects that to be the case at his Danville store.
“When people go out of state to visit friends or family, they often buy bottles of a good Kentucky bourbon to give as Christmas gifts,” he said.
“There’s nothing that says Kentucky like bourbon, and that’s not just at Christmas but any time of the year.”