Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Guys You Need to Know if You Want to Open a Wine Store: A Delivery Guy

Delivery service is the bane of any small wine store. You want to offer the service to your customers because 1) they like it. 2) everybody else does so it’s necessary to be competitive and 3) you can sell more cases if customers don’t have to worry about how to get them home.

Bigger stores can have a stock/delivery guy on staff. But I’m not big enough to warrant that expense. Not yet at least. But my business has grown to the point that it’s inefficient to have my wine sales staff running around lower Manhattan with a hand truck. Not that that doesn’t still happen. But at some point, most wine stores eventually need another option. And that option is usually an outside delivery service.

I have several lined up.  Just in case.

There’s Hi Powered Delivery, which is good and reliable, but mainly for case deliveries beyond the neighborhood with decent advance notice and a big delivery window.  And I really like saying I need to make a call to a Higher Power to check on a drop off between 2pm and 6pm.

Then there’s the nearby downtown service which is best for local deliveries or “renting” a guy with a hand truck for a few hours. But their guys are highly variable – there’s the unfailingly polite, tie-bedecked dude who somehow manages to avoid cracking a sweat on the hottest day of the year. But there's also the fellow who could give a Tasmanian devil a run for his money in terms of sheer crazy and high speed rotations per minute.

But my favorite service, and the one I’ve started to turn to the most regularly, is Urban Mobility Project, run by the ever cheerful Shelly Mossey. He lives in the neighborhood which is cool because I like to go local whenever possible. He’s reliable and knows downtown, even the street numbers (not just the names) of all the new buildings on North End Avenue. (I bet you didn’t even know there was a North End Avenue in Manhattan.)  And even better….he does his deliveries on a recumbent bike. He’s like the ant of delivery services, able to pull more than 10 times his weight in wine bottles - I think he can manage up to five cases in his trailer. I would explain further, but in this case, just check out the picture below.

                                          Photo by Robert Simko

1 comment:

Todd Wernstrom said...

You've changed my life! For the better. Not to mention made my back very, very happy.