business news in context, analysis with attitude

In Southern California, Gelson's has introduced a new wine club, describing it as "an exclusive program that offers a unique and unparalleled experience for SoCal wine lovers. The boutique club will offer members the perfect opportunity to explore outstanding new wines as well as well-priced hard-to-find wines crafted by leading winemakers. This inaugural release captures the essence of fine living in Southern California, Gelson's style, offering six specially-chosen wines that are not only memorable but also the perfect holiday gift for wine connoisseurs."

The pricing:  "The White Pack: $200 … The Red Pack: $300 … A Mix of White & Red 4-Pack: $350 … The Complete 6-Pack: $450"

KC's View:

I bring this up for two reasons.

First, I've long pointed to a local wine club to which I belong as being highly effective at trading me up when it comes to wine.  When I first joined - probably more than 20 years ago, I knew very little about wine and rarely would spend more than $10 on a bottle of wine.  But by educating me and getting me interested in wine, they've got me spending a lot more than that, and every month I get three bottles of wine that expand my horizons.

That's a smart way to approach wine retail.  It also, I would argue, a smart way to approach retailing in general.  If retailers brought this same passion for the product and ability to get people to trade up and expand their horizons to other categories, it would be a game changer.