MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. -- Zagara's here has become the first specialty food store in South Jersey to sell wine and spirits. The newest unit, which opened last September, introduced a 1,500-square-foot wine and spirits department on March 17, and the chain anticipates opening a wine and spirits department at its Marlton, N.J., location within 60 days, according to John Zagara, president of Zagara's.
The company hopes to eliminate an extra trip to the liquor store by providing its customers with an eclectic selection. In addition to carrying the preeminent favorites, Zagara's aims at stocking a variety of unique brands that are harder to find. It is currently working on forming exclusive relationships with some small family vineyards and less price-sensitive brands, says Zagara.
For a convenient taste test, customers have the option of buying a single serving of wine and pouring it themselves at the in-store cafe.
The company expects to see increases in the overall sales tickets due to the purchase of complimentary food items, and has been focusing promotional efforts on cross merchandising to encourage these peripheral sales, according to Zagara. Alcholic beverages and corresponding food items can be found in tempting proximity to one another.
In addition, Zagara's will highlight the culinary uses of wine during cooking demonstrations and seminars held in the store's cooking school. The school, led by local chefs, is located in a mezzanine overlooking the store.