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In-Store Beer Stations

LCBO Summerhill's Beer Experience Zone Spotlights Local Brews

— December 16, 2015 — Lifestyle
Toronto's LCBO Summerhill location is known for its array of fine spirits, vintage wine blends and craft beers. The retailer recently made headlines with its newly opened beer experience zone -- a beer station that spotlights local breweries while letting shoppers sample growlers filled with their favorite beverage.

This experiential retail space features a growler-filling station and is equipped with beer fridges that merchandise popular products in a more captivating way. In addition to boosting sales, LCBO Summerhill made use of a joined coffee shop space, transforming it into a new store addition that targets craft beer fans.

While niche brews may not have appealed to a mass market in the past, they are re-branded within LCBO's beer experience zone. Furthermore, once shoppers make a growler deposit, they are encouraged to return to the store to refill it with new samples -- spotlighted each week to boost overall sales.
Trend Themes
1. Local Beer Stations - The trend of in-store beer stations that spotlight local breweries continues to grow, providing opportunities for retailers to partner with and promote these niche products.
2. Experiential Retail - Retail spaces that offer an experiential component, such as the beer experience zone in LCBO Summerhill, have become a trend that provides a value-add for shoppers and boosts overall sales.
3. Refillable Growlers - The use of refillable growlers as a way to encourage customers to return and continuously sample new products presents a trend in the beer industry that can increase customer loyalty and repeat sales.
Industry Implications
1. Retail - The retail industry can benefit from the trend of in-store beer stations and experiential retail spaces by partnering with local breweries and providing a unique shopping experience to attract customers.
2. Craft Beer - The craft beer industry can benefit from partnering with retailers to provide unique tasting experiences and gain exposure to a wider audience.
3. Hospitality - The hospitality industry can leverage the trend of in-store beer stations and refillable growlers to offer unique menu items and foster customer loyalty through regular sampling opportunities.
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