It was a year ago that government allowed to sell alcohol at retail stores in India. Many say this is because the demand for alcohol would increase tremendously when India would be catering to the common wealth games this year. Let us explore how the move has affected the organised retail scenario and the consumers.
Though consuming alcohol is still a taboo in the Indian society but its demand has never lessened, rather gone up. Understanding the changing lifestyle of young Indians government did its bit by permitting the sale of alcohol at the retail outlets. For retailers it called for a golden opportunity, so how did they prepare for this additional product, “Our potential customer, the wine enthusiast don’t fully empathise to the language, values and conventional wisdoms of the wine community. Marketing initiatives such as etiquettes and wisdom of wine drinking were done that lead to a mutually beneficial scenario. The consumer becomes more aware, which in turn lead to higher sales,” adds the spokesperson for Spencer Retail.
Next step that we see is the hike in the investment bracket. More storage space is required; display changes, investing in other gourmet products that go with wine calls for more investment. But there is a huge hassle as every authority doesn’t allow selling alcohol in its area, which implies, making a universal marketing plan is difficult. The spokesperson adds, “The investment purely depends on the location and subsequently the kind of license one can have. In some areas, we get a full spectrum license while other areas have restrictions on the merchandise which can be sold. So, investment is purely situational.”
Every one who is above 25 years of age is a consumer, be it for himself/herself or to gift. The real question is, is their a direct consumer or a hidden one? The spokesperson adds “The response has been very good from the day-one. We get buyers of various age and social brackets. But what is interesting is to see a lot of women buyers, who cannot go to typical liquor shop in the locality, dropping in at our outlets.”
With such a positive response seen in the market there have been great add ons for retailers; from a new customer base to an investment increase. So how’s all that been since the implementation of the government policy? “We have seen a new segment of customers coming in, who come to buy only such products. However, with repeat visits, there has been a positive rub-off in terms of sales going up in other categories as well and 50 per cent increase is seen over all,” he concludes. It seems both retailers and consumers are having the last laugh with the sale of alcohol at the retail outlets.