Stirring Up Sales

Is Drinking and Shopping a Good Mix?

Graphic by Mary Kroeck

Graphic by Mary Kroeck

Ishtar Yakoo­­­­­­

In September 2015, the Internet buzzed at the news that Target had applied for two liquor licenses for its Streeterville store. Rumors quickly spread that one of the nation’s largest retailers would allow customers to sip moscato while strolling down the toilet paper aisle.

Although the Target store itself, which opened in October, doesn’t serve liquor, it does feature a Starbucks Evenings, which serves wine and beer customers can have in the coffee shop. There’s something almost funny about the idea of mom simply stopping for bread and milk. Then, after a drink, her merlot-based impulses tell her that a set of cinnamon-scented candles would look lovely on the dining room table. However, I have concerns, especially because this seems to be a growing trend.

In August 2015, Chicago Eater listed 16 shops where customers can sip and shop. Granted, some of those are Binny’s locations. However, the Walnut Room, located inside Macy’s on State Street, has been serving up cocktails for years. Now, it’s been reported by the Los Angeles Times that a Barnes & Noble store in New York has applied for a liquor license as well – as if sitting down and losing oneself in a good book wasn’t already a great way to temporarily forget one’s problems.

Being a loyal customer who visits the book chain often, I’ve recently noticed that the amount of “books on sale” and “books starting at $5” has increased. This is clearly due to the fact that technology has taken over. While readers are busy downloading new books into their fancy e-readers, they’re slowly forgetting the wonderful feeling that comes with purchasing and owning a new book with actual touchable pages.

As one who reads for fun (yes, it’s possible) and who has always loved a good story and pages full of information, it ticks me off to know more and more readers are forgetting about the magic a book contains. People and are swiping, rather than flipping, to the next page. Honestly, I am all for Barnes & Noble or any other retailer handing out champagne, but I worry about people over-doing it.

I’m concerned that rather than someone losing themself in a good book, they’ll lose themself in one too many cocktails. This could lead to more people trying to drive under the influence.

A good read and a glass of wine seems like a great recipe for relaxation. Who couldn’t use a drink after a long, hard day of shopping? As long as individuals are responsible, companies should be able to up their marketing game with their intoxicating strategies.