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Interview, Part 2: BevMo’s Senior Vice President For Wine, Bob Paulinski

October 28, 2015

In this second part of our interview with BevMo senior vice president for wine Bob Paulinski, the retail executive offers his views on pricing and demographic trends that are shaping the business.

SND: On wine pricing, do you see downward pressure or trading up?

Paulinski: The sweet spot is in the $15-$25 range right now. We’re seeing much more competitive pricing on imports because of the shifting exchange rate. A lot of European wines have gone through many years at a very high premium, in part because of the exchange rate, and they’re now seeing some moderation in pricing. Of course, for the very high-end, iconic producers, there won’t be any big change. But we’re seeing better pricing on a lot of very solid, mid-level European producers.

SND: Are you seeing any major shifts in terms of consumer demographics at your stores?

Paulinski: BevMo’s customer base is extremely broad, and our stores are spread over a wide area. So just by that nature, you’re going to get a diverse group of consumers. Millennials continue to be very interested in the social media aspect—what friends and other people recommend is important in driving their purchasing decisions. Connecting with Millennials is a very different process from that of previous generations.

SND: What’s an example of one category where Millennials are making a profound impact?

Paulinski: A lot of the red blend business seems to be driven by Millennials, partly because that category is an easy entry point into experiencing wine. Older clients, such as Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, are purchasing more established, prestige brands they’re familiar with—brands they trust.

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