Last week, The Storage Facilitator posted an article about how to market wine storage at your facility and how wine storage is now more relevant than ever.
It goes into detail about the steps one should take in order to make consumers aware of this feature as well as what to offer at your facility in order to make for a great wine storage location. I am curious though as to what everyone thinks about wine storage, and more specifically how to market it.
Do you offer wine storage? If so, do you have a lot of tenants that are strictly there for that purpose? How did you make them aware that wine storage is an option at your facility?
I've never personally stored wine myself, as rarely does a bottle last more then a week or two at my house. We do have wine storage at one of our facilities...but the wine units pretty much stay full from long-term tenants.
That said a lot and nothing useful. We have a cellar with about 500 lockers from 9 cases to 200 cases, racked or un-racked. We also have a tasting room around 600 square feet maby more, it looks like it was pulled from Italy and has leather wrapped furniture and double sided fireplace, everything you could want and a great place to throw a party or tasting. We have tried print via the ValPak plus some local mags and print has proven to be less then worth it. For the most part wine storage is not a impulse purchase, it is something planned. Maby your moving and your cellar is not built you will then need storage, real estate agents and professional organizers will help with referrals if you can make the connections. You will want to get in touch with local wine shops they can help but for the most part they won't there is just not enough in it for them, you can also try providing the wine shop a spiff like we did for a $20 referral but between 4 shops I never have seen one come back.
Sometimes you end up with lots of boxes and wine packing materials, this stuff is expensive so save it and try and find a wine shop to connect with that would like to come by and take your packing mats, but make sure they are going to try and send you referrals otherwise give the boxes to someone else, or sell them used people will buy them.
The article made it sound like tastings are effective and for the most part we have seen that they are not. We have had 3 different events up there with maby one or two rentals from it. The hard part is making everyone happy, the winery wants to sell wine so their concern is going to be how many people are showing up and if they can sell bottles, if they can't sell from your storage then you need to find a wine shop and talk them into coming to the event to take orders. So the wine shop will make the winery happy so what next? Now you need to make the wine shop happy by telling them how many people will be at your event and that you need them to provide order forms to sell the wine and that they have the potential to talk about their shop to our guests. You kind of have to rob Peter to pay Paul. At a wine convention I had a chocolatier come with us, she paired her sweets with a winery that we have worked with before. So at the event we had a nice draw to bring people in our booth, featured a local wine related business and was pushing and receiving referrals from the winery it was a nice 3 way circle and everyone was happy.
The article mentions to talk to restaurants and grocery stores, well that's not always going to work based off of the grocery stores have plenty of storage. And in most states you need to be licensed as a warehouse to store that kind of inventory. You could try local restaurants and see how that goes we have yet to attack that block yet due to it only recently becoming legal where we are.
A forklift will help, sometimes these guys have pallets coming in and this will save them a huge hassle plus it will pull in people that would otherwise have to pass on your facility.
A good and cost effective holiday event is a BYOB, we had great success last week with one. Bring your own bottle of red under $25 and have some cheeses and meats from a local cheese monger, a meet your neighbor type of event. Turned out great had about 20 people show, mind you it's not bringing in business but keeping the members happy. It's also cost effective, they bring the wine and the cheese was only $62 due to the cheese monger having a good time. Mind you this can only be done once maby twice a year.
So much of the business is word of mouth and referrals you just need to get your name out to other local related business. Start with a chocolatier or two, find a cheese monger, talk to professional organizers.
Another note, we had to convert a bunch of lockers due to finding we rented more small lockers than large. A lot of people that are part of wine clubs rent a locker here so we can receive their shipments and they can pick it up at their leisure. We are also in a very busy upscale part of town and that does effect locker sizes from what I can tell. Another wine storage facility I talked to had the opposite issue they had to convert small lockers to large ones due to being in an industrial area of town and his tenants were mostly winery's doing bulk storage...
We have had about three large tastings and many many private parties but none of it has turned into a wealth of rentals. The flip side the the "tasting" coin is that a lot of these people are just there to socialize and drink, they could care less about storage. Again for the most part our customers would first be wine club members or I have a few people that lost their big home and still want to have access to a wine tasting room, about a dozen or so serious collectors that are traveling frequently or need temporary storage (Good idea to make friends with wine rack installers they can send business your way) and then we have a large number of people that just have a wine locker for the ability to say they have one... I've seen people rent a $147 walk in locker for 8 months and not put any wine in it. But hey they have a wine locker!
Our tasting room is also a huge draw many people rent a locker to have access to the room...
Anyways I'm typed out and just wanted to throw some stuff out there, if anyone has any ideas or questions please send them my way
ISS has published many article on wine storage. You can find them on the topics page under wine storage. Marketing this product is different, obviously. You're demographic is different. Plus the storage needs are different. Security, temperature, etc.