The Four Key Elements to a Successful Wine-Storage Operation: Construction, Temp Control, Security and Marketing

By Amy Campbell Comments
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Market in Your Community

Americans love their wine, drinking an estimated 767 million gallons of wine in 2009, according to the Wine Institute. And many wine connoisseurs, retailers and restaurateurs, turn to self-storage for the safekeeping of their stock.

Marketing wine storage requires a more active approach than that of traditional self-storage. You cannot simply lean on your facility’s street location and curb appeal to attract these tenants. You’ll need a more targeted campaign to achieve the best results.

March Chase, vice president of Southeast Management Co., which operates Plantation Storage in South Carolina, suggests you first market to your existing tenants, as they are already familiar with your facility. Depending on the location of your wine storage, many of your customers may not even know you offer this service. Send an e-mail to your current and previous tenants outlining the features of your wine-storage facility and offer them a discount on their first month’s rent.

You should also reach out to local wine-tasting clubs, and restaurants and retailers who specialize in wine. Create a referral program through your partnerships, offering group discounts or two-for-one deals.

Take your operation to the next level by offering wine-tasting events. Ask a local wine expert from a restaurant, retailer or club to come in and talk about wine. You’ll bring your audience of wine lovers to your facility, where they’ll see firsthand how your wine storage can protect their collections. Be sure to market the event through fliers, on your website and through social-media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.

If you have a retail store, consider adding wine-related products such as corkscrews, coolers, wine tags, glasses, cases, carriers, books and wine magazines. Your facility will become a one-stop shop, allowing tenants to pick up extra items when scrambling with last-minute party preparations. They’ll appreciate the convenience, and you’ll earn more revenue.

By focusing on the four core components of wine storage—construction, temperature control, security and marketing—you’ll attract more tenants and grab a larger share of the competitive self-storage market.

Big Jim Self Storage & Wine Cellar
Location: Sarasota, Fla.
Owner: Big Jim I LLC
Built in: 2006
Size: 1,320 square feet
Locker size: Varies from 3-by-2-by-4 to 6-by-6-by-8
Décor style: Classic southern
Security measures: Zoned keypad entry, biometric fingerprinting and personal security code, individual dead-bolt locks, motion-detection surveillance cameras
Extra amenities: Wine-tasting room with TV, phone and Wi-Fi, delivery acceptance, diesel-powered backup generator
What do customers like about your wine storage? They like our security and flexible hours and the helpful and friendly staff. The wine-tasting room is also popular.

Plantation Storage
Location: Bluffton, S.C.
Owner: Plantation Storage Associates LLC
Built in: 2000
Size: 64 lockers
Locker size: Varies to accommodate six to 112 cases
Décor style: French country
Security measures: Keypad access
What do customers like about your wine storage? We have very little competition, which is a bonus. Our wine tenants enjoy the same things as our traditional self-storage tenants: our managers and customer service.

STORE Self Storage and Wine Storage
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Owner: Jon Channing
Built in: 2008
Size: 3,600 square feet
Locker size: Varies from 2-by-2 to 11-by-4
Décor style: Tuscan with Venetian plaster, African mahogany, brushed-nickel key plates, custom-made door, cut-stone flooring
Security measures: Biometric fingerprint entry, individual door alarms, video surveillance with motion recording, personal key to lockers, personal code to enter and exit
Extra amenities: Delivery acceptance, exclusive inventory-management system, two wine cellars, automated lights, access-controlled loading and unloading
What do customers like about your wine storage? We have flexible access hours, wine-tasting classes and events, and accept wine deliveries. There’s also a wine-tasting room with a custom-made table that sits 16, and a 52-inch TV for wine presentations. Tenants also like the upscale luxury décor of the facility lobby.

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