Midwestern grocers Hy-Vee and Schnuck Markets are taking aim at increased demand for wine and spirits, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic as stay-at-home consumers sought ways to indulge.
Hy-Vee on Wednesday unveiled plans for a new retail business called Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits. Described as “a new division of the company,” the concept will focus on providing “best-in-class” wine, spirits and beer selection in modern, stand-alone stores with an enhanced shopping experience.
Plans call for Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits stores to feature a wide and “eclectic” assortment of wine, liquor and craft beer at multiple price points, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee said. The stores also will sell a range of specialty foods and beverages, including cheese, charcuterie, chips, crackers, soda and seltzers to round out a “full food and drink menu for any event or occasion,” according to the retailer. Customers, too, will be able to buy high-end barware and related accessories.
The first Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits stores will be opened in West Des Moines as well as in Papillion, Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., Hy-Vee reported. The company said opening dates and more details about the initial locations are upcoming.
Currently, Hy-Vee operates more than 280 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
“At Hy-Vee, we focus on the evolving lifestyles of our customers,” Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker said in a statement. “With the creation of our Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits division, we are excited to continue to provide the best wine, beer and spirits selection, as well as a customer experience of the highest caliber.”
Also on Wednesday, St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets launched the Schnucks Wine Club, offering customers savings on their wine purchases.
Available to all Schnucks Rewards loyalty program participants, the Schnucks Wine Club gives members an everyday 15% discount off the lowest price on every 750-ml bottle of wine bought at Schnucks supermarkets. Those signing up for the Wine Club also get special Schnucks Rewards offers and promotions plus on selected premium bottles of wine, the grocer said.
The Schnucks Wine Club offers Rewards members a 15% discount off the lowest price of 750-ml bottles of wine.
Other benefits include a newsletter with trends and insights from industry experts, wine and food pairing ideas, content curated for wine enthusiasts, pre-registration for wine-focused Schnucks Cooking School classes and events, and virtual “meet and greets” with sommeliers from around the world.
The Schnucks Wine Club carries an annual membership fee of just $24.99. Members will earn Rewards points on the membership purchase and get an extra $10 in Rewards points if registered on or before Sept. 30, Schnucks said. Members must be age 21 or older to join, and discounts are limited to purchases of 750-ml bottles of wine.
“The Schnucks Wine Club is another way for us to deliver value to our customers,” Certified Specialist of Wine Julie Dean, beverage alcohol category manager at Schnucks, said in a statement. “Whether you are a wine expert or just getting started, the Schnucks Wine Club offers ways to save, learn and experience wine in new and fun ways.”
Overall, Schnuck Markets operates 110 supermarkets in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Multi-outlet sales volume by serving rose 10.5% for wine, 13.5% for spirits and 11% for beer for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 27, 2020, according to market researcher IRI. Also, 10.5% of households in IRI’s National Consumer Panel reported buying more wine, while 10.2% were purchasing more spirits and 10.8% were buying more beer.