306 – The Largest Liquor Retailer You Never Knew About with Chris Blandford of Kroger


We talk to the largest liquor retailer that you never knew about…Kroger. Yes, the huge grocery chain that has liquor stores adjacent to almost every location. When you add it up, it’s thousands of square feet of retail space spread over hundreds of stores. We’re joined by Chris Blandford, who is the Adult Beverage Field Specialist for Kentucky, Southern Indian, and Southern Illinois Kroger stores. We talk about the challenges of operating over 115 stores, distribution, competition, barrel picks, and of course allocation.

Show Notes:

  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about spirits competitions.
  • What is your fast food restaurant of choice on a road trip?
  • How do you manage inventory for so many stores?
  • How do you use data to predict what people will buy?
  • What are the challenges of distribution?
  • Talk about the store experience.
  • Are larger or smaller stores more difficult to manage?
  • How do you distribute products?
  • What is the most stolen item?
  • How do you approach pricing?
  • Do you try to compete with pricing against the larger liquor stores?
  • What is the method for allocated items?
  • If Sazerac increased their pricing on Pappy, would there still be lotteries?
  • Talk about your barrel picks.
  • Do you have a favorite barrel pick?
  • Any other challenges?
  • What product doesn’t move as well as you think it would?
  • Are there any plans to grow?
  • Will Kroger ever deliver or ship?

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