Retailers Deploy User-Friendly Technology to Boost Wine Sales

Napa Technology WineStation 3.0 allows retailers to measure success by the ounce while diversifying customer tasting experiences throughout the store

With beverage tastings all the rage, savvy retailers are getting ahead of a growing trends of sampling more than just food items in grocery aisles and the expansion of on-site dining venues by offering customers a definitive flavor experience with wine. With Napa Technology’s automated wine preservation and dispensing system, WineStation 3.0, retailers can measure success by the ounce.

“Napa Technology’s retail customers have found that automated wine sampling reduces overall operational costs with anytime access to unique, higher priced or proprietary wines,” says Jayne Portnoy, Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy, for Napa Technology. “In addition, WineStation is the only enterprise platform system in the world leveraging engineering expertise and industry insights to offer real-time, meaningful data while connecting with customers in a significant way.”

Traditional and specialty retailers around the U.S. are marketing wine directly from their aisles, like Marty’s Fine Wines in Newton, MA. “When we decided to install the WineStation by Napa Technology, we were optimistic that it would significantly improve our in-store tasting program,” notes Peter Tryba, Vice President, Marty’s Fine Wines. “We never anticipated seeing 85-95% sell-through rates! It is truly a profitable addition to our store and our customers love it.”

In one of Dierbergs St. Louis stores eight WineStation units are strategically placed in dining, wine and party supply sections, providing extra levels of service and unique customer experiences. Harris Teeter is redefining its approach to grocery with their upscale 201central store concept, which includes more than 3,000 types of wine. Trained staff and WineStation systems (in six Harris Teeter stores to date) welcome sampling and encourage sales.

Hy-Vee, which recently placed the WineStation 3.0 in its seventh location, uses the system as a tasting tool for customers searching for the right wine to fit the occasion and in on-site restaurants. According to Hy-Vee’s Vice President Wine & Spirits, Jay Wilson, “The WineStation allows us to compete with onpremise restaurants within our own four walls and entirely enhances the shopping experience. We are serving four to eight finer wines by the glass and creating a dynamic environment for our guests.”

In either scenario – in the aisle or in a restaurant – customers explore, taste and enjoy wines from around the world, and the WineStation’s automated temperature-controlled system allows retailers the option of offering red, white and rose wines in the same four-bottle unit – each at the perfect temperature – in bottle, magnum or keg formats.

Napa Technology’s mission is to develop technology that makes wine more accessible to consumers and to provide tools for retailers that create customer loyalty while making their wine business more successful. Napa Technology’s WineStation 3.0 poured more than 10 million ounces of wine through its systems in 2012 and is on track to more than double that number in 2013.