Liquor Store Inventory Management – 3 Common Problems

Last Updated: March 29, 2021

Liquor stores generally fall in the retail category. However, liquor stores have some unique challenges that are typically not that common in other retail sectors. Adequate liquor store inventory is the root of many of the problems. And most of the issues below can be addressed with a solid POS solution for liquor stores. This is something much more powerful than a run-of-the-mill cash register for a liquor store. There are several key features for a liquor or wine shop point of sale.

1. The Challenge of Liquor Store Inventory Tracking 

Keeping track of thousands of different products with different flavors and bottle sizes is a hard task. Not many other retail business types have to deal with such a large product assortment. Therefore, most general retail point of sale systems are not really equipped for the task. Unfortunately, too many liquor store owners have just accepted the fact that smart inventory tracking is simply too complicated and expensive. However, here are a few simple tricks for better control over your inventory management.

Utilize Assortment Management Features

If you have the ability to assign your products to assortments you can separate seasonal items from general items. Your product catalog will become much more organized when you have the ability to easily filter out items that are no longer relevant.

Always Update Incorrect Numbers

As soon as you notice incorrect numbers, such as negative inventory counts or items with on-hand counts that are no longer selling, make sure to correct your inventory and investigate the reason for the differences. Not only does KORONA has an automation feature for this, but also includes ABC retail analysis software for every customer. This software helps liquor store owners placement, pricing, and ordering for each of their products. 

How to Count Liquor Inventory? Perpetual Counting

Instead of doing complete store counts consider continuous counts with smaller product lists. Perpetual inventory counting will become part of the routine instead of a major headache once a year. Once again, KORONA POS prepares short count lists for you that are easy to manage on a daily or weekly basis. This eliminates the possibility of shutting your store down for a large inventory count and also keeps costly mistakes to a minimum. 

2. Liquor Store Employee Theft

Employee theft is a concern for many retail businesses. However, liquor stores are especially impacted. Unfortunately, many managers and owners are not fully aware of this issue. This is mainly due to a lack of reliable inventory tracking. If you don’t know what you are supposed to have, you also have no way of knowing when something goes missing. It’s also common for employees to make a sale and then simply remove the items from the transaction if the customer pays cash, allowing them to pocket the money. We recommend following best practices on retail loss prevention and taking the following security procedures with your POS:

  1. Don’t allow cashiers to freely remove any item from a transaction.
  2. Don’t allow cashiers to operate the POS while cash drawer is opened.
  3. Perform cash balances per cashier.
  4. Use the individualized sales reports for each cashier to identify any concerning trends.

3. Insufficient Reporting on Liquor Store Inventory Management

With large product catalogs, it can get difficult to determine which items are actually making your business profitable and which are simply taking up shelf space. In order to figure out which items you should promote and which ones you should kick out of your inventory we recommend the following best practices:

  1. Compare profits instead of just quantities or revenue.
  2. Evaluate complementary products and adjust prices accordingly.
  3. Compare sell-through rates and inventory turns to prevent overstocking or understocking.
  4. Avoid stockouts in your retail store by optimizing reordering levels.

If you would like to find out more about how KORONA POS can help you solve these issues, and why we’re the most popular POS system for liquor stores, give us a call: (833) 200-0213

You might also like: 4 Creative Ways to Increase Sales for Liquor Stores & 12 Tips to Open a Successful Liquor Store

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About the Author

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Michael Chalberg

Michael has long focused his writing on the world of retail and small businesses. He''s been a part of the KORONA POS team since 2018 and loves helping entrepreneurs find ways to adapt and succeed. In his spare time, you'll likely find him hiking somewhere in the Southwest.

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