It may not have even been half a year since Strawberry Liquors opened up in Selbyville, but the discount spirit store is already pulling in impressive business, and with the holiday season in full swing, they can plan on plenty more.
“We’ve only been open for five months,” said manager Keith Goodman, “and so far, we’ve doubled in business.”
A contributing factor to the store’s influx of customers is attributed to location. They’re situated along Route 113 in Selbyville, just north of the Maryland state line.
“We cater to our customers a lot,” Goodman added, “and we’re pulling people out of Ocean Pines, Bishopville, Berlin, since we have no sales tax, and our liquor’s cheaper. We’re trying to be competitive.”
Employees at Strawberry Liquors go above and beyond what is expected of them, Goodman noted.
“We make special orders for people,” said Goodman. “They’ll ask for a case of wine, and we’ll get it for them, even if we’re not putting it on our shelves.”
The staff doesn’t think twice, either, about helping customers carry their purchases out to their car.
“We want to do things a lot of other liquor stores don’t,” he added. “It’s all about customer service. People appreciate it, and they’ll keep coming back for it.”
Goodman, though pleased with the increase of business, has had his expertise in another field for most of his life – working in Georgetown at the correctional department.
“I’ve learned a lot by filling the shelves, stocking and logging inventory,” he said.
Still employed at the corrections department, he manages his time accordingly.
“My friend owns the store, and he figured he could trust me,” Goodman said. “It was tough at first, but I love it now.”
Holidays may be treating the package store nicely, but business is difficult to anticipate.
“We’re a new shop,” he added, “and we don’t have anything to base the numbers on. I have no way of knowing what we’re going to do around the holidays. You just try to plan the best you can, get yourself stocked up, and hope you’re right. It’s not uncommon to come up short now and then.”
Limited space has restricted what the store could carry, but Goodman anticipates installing a larger cooler that would certainly help.
“We don’t have a lot of the storage space we would like right now,” he said, “but, luckily, our distributors help us out a lot.”
Strawberry Liquors was originally scheduled to open around the Fourth of July, but finalizations set it back to late summer.
“We opened by Labor Day,” he said, “and even then, it wasn’t that busy because people didn’t know we were here. But with the holidays and football, we’ve been doing pretty good.” Advertising has really helped to stretch out to customers all around.
“It at least gets people to come out and look for the first time,” he added. “Every day, I still see faces that I haven’t seen before.”
While beer had been pretty much their only sales at first, wines and spirits sales have since soared.
“People are learning about the deals we have,” he said. “We sell a lot of wines from Chile, and, of course, your California wines are very popular. We’ve even had a request for a label of wine to come in from New Jersey. With the people throughout this area, there is a great knowledge about wines. We have a lot of customers coming in, looking for wine from a specific region of California.”
Southern Delaware’s Hispanic population has even helped to boost sales. Torres, a discounted Spanish brandy, is a popular item in the store, while Strawberry Liquors is the biggest seller for the distributors of the Mexican beer, Modelo. Goodman stated that the business has been very active with neighboring companies.
“The community has been very welcoming towards us,” he said.
For more information about Strawberry Liquors, stop in to their location at 38394 Dupont Boulevard in the new Strawberry Shopping Center, or call (302) 436-2040. Be sure to stop in before Dec. 21 for a chance at one of three gift basket drawings.