the forum

09 February, 2007

To respond to the unanswered questions below, or to ask a reader's advice, simply e-mail:

oln.editorial@william-reed.co.u

k

Q Is it OK for my 12-year-old docile Labrador to come to work with me?

A I used to bring my Labrador, Traminer, into work and she was very pleased to meet all the customers, wagging her tail dusting and clearing the shelves as she went to greet them. I now have a

border terrier called Bottle - Cork will arriving soon

- and customers come to see her with gifts. She's recognised in town when I walk to the bank, and is not only a great advert but also "man's best friend".

John, Stratford upon Avon

Q I'm thinking about clearing out some slow-moving bottles with "mystery mixed cases". Has anyone done this before and if so with how much success?

AAll the time, particularly as introductory offers to our wine club. The trick is to mix some ordinary or indeed slightly dull wines with others which are genuinely interesting and good value. I believe the major mail-order merchants operate under a similar principle!

Jim, London

Q It's been suggested

I offer a full refund on wines that people don't enjoy.

Will this encourage store loyalty, or just lose me lots of money

A We never quibble

even if the reason is simply

they "don't like it".

When customers build up a trusting relationship with us they don't try it on. Quite often

they can be persuaded to try higher-value wines that they enjoy more and net you a handsome margin .

Craig, Co Durham

Q I'm considering giving away free lemons with every bottle of gin . Anyone got any experience of this

A I once gave away free eggs, just to have a go at the supermarkets, but ended up eating lots of omelettes before becoming egg-bound!

John, Stratford upon Avon

Q Are price-marked beers good for business or do they just put a ceiling on your margin potential?

Dave, Essex




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