Friday, September 25, 2009
APPLYING CHAOS THEORY TO WINE RETAIL
For starters, I am no mathematician, which sucks because I could use a bit better background on accounting and economics every now and again, but I can at least understand the numerical portion of supply-and-demand every time I get a paycheck. The impending OND season (October-November-December for all you non-retailers out there) is descending quickly, and as I have hinted before, it gets a little crazy around here.
The fun of it all is meeting new customers, and getting better acquainted with old ones, seeing their continuing evolution of the whole wine adventurer thing. It's nice to be a stop on their journey, and at times, it gets downright communal in here, like the general store or local diner of yore.
The downside of the chaos is the long hours, the in-fighting with staff and management, the disgruntled and short-fused lot that pop in on the days when you feel your most crappy. It never fails this heaping helping of "oh shit!" that comes one's way when wearing the uniform of wine schlub. Don't get me wrong, I love this job. But yeah, the days are coming when the 24-7 Christmas music makes you want to drive a steamroller over a crowd of little kids and puppies, and you'd seriously like to subject the ghost of Norman Rockwell to the eternal damnation of watching reruns of MTV's Real World forever.
Gearing up for the holidays, it is almost like a scavenger hunt, trying to find those deals and products that will one-up the competition, driving traffic off the highways and into OUR stores. The boss is screaming at me to pay more attention, harass the sales reps, pressure supplies, etc., customers are asking everyday for those "holiday blowouts" and suppliers are begging me to add all these brand "line extensions" at a time when the focus needs to be the best bargains I can get.
Ah, the joys of wine buying.
Adding inventory into the mix (which our stores are doing next week) and you have an expanding hole in the stomach and a spike of Biblical proportions in the blood pressure. But hey, I eat stress for breakfast (with big thick strips of bacon and strong black coffee, bee-yatches!).
Just taking a moment on a rainy Friday to bitch before the weekend. Bring on the chaos.