Business Overview

Wine shops are usually run as physical retail stores, though some shops operate online. While it’s not impossible to operate a wine shop exclusively online, it can be more difficult due to inconsistent state liquor laws. For example, some states ban the importation of wine and liquor unless it’s done through approved vendors and distribution channels (most of which are not direct to consumers).

Who is this business right for?

This business is perfect for individuals who are wine, craft beer, and liquor enthusiasts and aficionados. Store hours may be dictated by state law and are generally not very flexible. However, store owners generally have flexible hours if they employ a staff.

What happens during a typical day at a wine shop?

Store owners are responsible for managing employees, ordering supplies, and managing day-to-day activities. Depending on the size of the store, this might include servicing customers. Many wine stores offer wine flights (where a selection of wines are offered for sampling purposes) during select days of the week or month, which store owners typically host.

What is the target market?

Every state requires wine and liquor stores to ID customers for age verification. Since it is illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, wine stores must target adults as their ideal customers.

How does a wine shop make money?

Wine stores make money by buying wine and over alcoholic beverages at wholesale or discount pricing and marking them up to sell to customers. Customers are charged a price per bottle and sometimes offered discounts based on volume purchases. For example, a wine store might sell a case of wine (12 bottles) at a discount. Wine stores also sell alcohol-related paraphernalia, like wine stoppers, bottle openers wine glasses, shot glasses, mixers, and other related items.

What is the growth potential for a wine shop?

Clients and customers for wine stores are usually in the local community. Wine stores typically run local advertising if they don’t have an Internet presence. Otherwise, they may run online ads to attract business. Coupons and flyers are still common practice in the industry.