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Sales in wine shops soared in July and August. After the lockdown, they discovered social medias

WineNews interviewed Andrea Terraneo, president of Vinarius: “the art cities are suffering because of lack of international tourism”
The summer of the wine shops of Italy

The last “human” stronghold for wine lovers, wine shops, never shut their doors, and were on the front line even in the hard weeks of lockdown, when bars, restaurants and wineries were closed. But, wine shops all over Italy also paid the price of the emergency and economic crisis. They found a breath of fresh air, after such challenging months, during this positive summer, as the president of Vinarius - Associazione Enoteche Italiane Andrea Terraneo told WineNews.
“In the months of July and August 2020, the situation in wine shops changed for the better, though there were differences in heavy tourist areas and less touristy areas, and in those who drink and those who don't. All the data gathered from different areas in Italy are positive, in some cases outstanding, not only compared to the previous month, but also to the same period in 2019. Obviously”, the president of Vinarius explained, “in these last two months tourist areas have had the greatest success, in serving and take-away. Excellent signs come from the Regions Apulia, Sardinia and the Marche that have given us the best response, compared also to previous years. In other areas of these regions the data have been positive, compared to 2019, but the big cities and art cities are sending less positive signals. The catering channel definitely restarted, related to previous months, especially in July, while in the big cities many closed for August holidays. It is in the art cities, such as Florence and Rome, as well as Siena that the lack of international tourism has been deeply felt”, said Terraneo, because Italian tourists or the occasional customer have not visited them. An interesting signal is the utterly positive data of sparkling wines, coming above all from Southern Italy. Not only Prosecco, but Champagne and the classic method too, driven by the desire to go out and socialize, a positive sign”.
It seems strange to talk about it in September, but the highlight, as always, is the end of the year, when corporate and private gifts usually close the balance sheets of wine bars with a bang. “Every year”, pointed out Terraneo, “we look forward to Christmas with anxiety, but in recent years we have learned to make sure we have the right amount of stocks in the warehouse. This year we will certainly all be waiting at the door, to see what will happen. A second lockdown does not worry us so much, as it is a remote hypothesis, but the work aspect does. How many people will be returning to work, how many companies will reopen, what interest and desire will there be for corporate gifts, which weigh very heavily for us? I think it is less difficult to predict private consumption,” explained the president of Vinarius, “because several reports over the last two months indicate a consistent return of private consumption in wine shops. We have been seeing customers who have been away for some time, and new faces, too. Being close to the consumer in recent months has been the right path, and now we are gaining their trust, which is a less complicated trend to manage than corporate gifts”.
The digital front has proved to be a key turning point, as many wine shops in the last few months have discovered social medias and e-commerce, opening up new fronts and often, unexplored possibilities. “The important signal is not that the trend has grown or stabilized, but the approach of those who were not accustomed to the world of these virtual realities, e-commerce and social media. Many have approached and are trying to catch up with this type of technology”, explained Terraneo, “and for the wine shop sector, historically linked to the physical store, and less inclined to investing in online visibility, it is an extraordinary sign. We are not stuck in our stores, but we are going out to propose ourselves to our customers and the global world. We have also seen this at Vinarius, where due to the lockdown we suspended all training activities”, the president of Vinarius concluded, “and did webinars with Consortia and territories in May and June, but we will resume in September, to stay in touch and be well informed”.

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