Like you, I was frustrated by the decline in demand for wine in 2023. We hoped for brighter days in 2024. However, we are not seeing that yet. The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) SipSource report for the first quarter of 2024 showed that spirits sales fell by 5.2% and wine sales declined by 10.9%. In March alone, wine sales dropped by 8.3%!!!

We’ve weathered downturns before, but we’ve also witnessed the eventual upswings that bring about robust sales. Like you, I’m wondering how much longer???

Now, more than ever, it is important to be proactive. Here are five actions that have proved especially beneficial to me when there has been a decline in demand for wine & spirits. I hope these tips will help you too.

  1. Stay engaged with customers: Keep your customers informed about innovative ideas. They’re seeking answers. They appreciate your help with overcoming the decline in demand for wine & spirits.
  2. Respect your customers’ time: Avoid commiserating with customers on the decline in wine sales; instead, focus on solutions and ways you can work together. Your show of support builds your relationships now and strengthens your position when the market turns around.
  3. Work the market: Actively sell to customers. Reach out to retailers and on-premise accounts. It’s akin to baseball; The more “at-bats” you have increases your chances of hitting a home run!
  4. Expand your network: Broaden your professional connections. Share insights with peers on which strategies have proven successful and which ones have been ineffective.
  5. Be strategic with discounts: Be discerning when offering distributors significant discounts on your wine or spirits to move inventory. Platforms like Wine-Searcher (a web search engine that enables the user to find the price and availability of a given wine and spirits) can heavily publicize your discounts and undermine your position once the market rebounds.

By implementing these tactics, you can navigate the current challenges while positioning yourself for future success.

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