The new look, layout and customer service in our West Liquor stores has been a big hit, with customers giving us approval ratings as high as 92% and the liquor industry saying that we are setting the standard for the rest of New Zealand. There’s also been an interesting shift in customer preferences from budget beer to craft beer and wine, which is no coincidence.
What is clear though is that all the research that went into the $5 million programme, which was designed to give West Aucklanders the best liquor stores in New Zealand, has been money well spent.
UMR research shows that a whopping 92% of customers approve of the new West Liquor brand. That is an extraordinary result and shows that the new colours, the new lighting and new layouts, the range of choice and world-class customer service have struck a real chord with West Auckland customers.
Added to that, 80% of customers are satisfied with our venues in general. This is up from 67% in the previous year. A gratifying 74% of West Aucklanders support The Trusts overall, which is also significantly up from previous surveys.
Interestingly and importantly, the new layouts which give a real sensation of stepping into discreet, pleasant, establishments that feel welcoming and safe are working with our female customers.
This is likely to have been why there’s a distinct increase in our wine and craft beer sales. “The wine sales in particular are associated with more women choosing to shop with us and/or spending more time in our stores, browsing” says The Trusts Chief Executive, Simon Wickham. If that is the case The Trusts will be delighted because creating places where everyone, particularly women feel welcome, comfortable and safe was one of the key objectives in the new design.
This environment is created partly by the elegant layouts and the bright lighting, and also by reducing the height of the free-standing shelving units (gondolas) so that shoppers can see and be seen at all times. Having huge windows so that people can window-shop from the footpath and even see into the chillers adds to the feel of bright, airy, spaciousness.
There’s no doubt that stepping into the stores is a pleasant experience. The wide range of choice elegantly displayed, competitive pricing and specials and friendly staff trained under a world-class programme to be knowledgeable and helpful, have all played their part in this success story.
Eight stores were given the new West Liquor branding and layouts this year: Glen Eden, Westside, Royal Heights, New Lynn West, Lincoln Green, Massey, Valley Road and West Harbour was rebranded as a Village Wine and Spirits store offering wines and spirits beyond what most stores stock nationwide.
The refurbishment programme will be completed in 2014 and we’re looking forward to seeing an even greater customer approval rating as a result.