To assist multi-unit retailers starting or improving their retail audit program, Compliant IA regularly publishes how-to guides, best practices and checklists. Use this sample checklist for Wine, Beer and Spirits Retailers to create or update your operations and merchandising programs across your retail locations.
Checklists ensure that wine, beer and spirits are merchandised and sold consistently with company standards and regulations. Regular audits help retailers and distributors be proactive and address issues before they become major problems. Audits also tend to cut costs and drive sales.
Below, a list of criteria for auditing wine, beer and spirits stores.
Store Exterior – General
- Signage is current, in good repair, and complies with contractual requirements.
- Sidewalk signage reflects current promotion, is clearly visible to passing cars and pedestrians, does not block pedestrian traffic.
- Windows are clean, current, and comply with contractual requirements.
- Shopping carts are clean and are neat and easily accessible.
- Store hours signage is clearly posted.
- Board of alcohol required signage is clearly posted.
Store Exterior – Safety and Security
- Parking lot, entrances, and receiving areas are free from debris and well lit.
- Receiving area is locked and secured when not in use.
- Cameras are in working order.
Store Interior – General
- Store is well lit and music is at an appropriate level.
- Aisles are free of debris and spaced appropriately.
- Walls, ceilings, and fixtures are clean and maintained.
- Display materials, shelving, and surfaces are dust and chip free.
- Refrigerator cases are at the appropriate temperature.
- Security cases for high value items are visible to employees and properly secured.
- Departments (wine, spirits, beer) are clearly defined and identified. All signs are in good condition.
- Tasting areas are identified, clean, and easily accessible for vendors and customers.
- Recycling area is clean, free of debris, and has no odor.
- Restrooms are clean, stocked, and regularly maintained.
- Merchandising calendar is up-to-date and correct planogram is being utilized.
- Seasonal displays are easily accessible and well-stocked.
- Wall displays and endcaps are utilized effectively and comply with contractual requirements.
- High volume, low margin items are placed near the back.
- Impulse hot spots (near the front entrance and POS) are used strategically for high-margin and impulse SKUs.
- Shelves are stocked (no product holes) and product has been fronted correctly.
- Number of “facings” is contractually compliant.
- All products are priced correctly.
- There is appropriate on-shelf pairing between alcoholic beverages and complimentary products (glassware, gift packaging, food).
- Staff look professional and are easily identified.
- Store is staffed appropriately for time of day and season.
- Staff greet, engage, and make confident product recommendations to customers.
- All staff adhere to policies for checking IDs.
- Staff at the POS greet customers, work efficiently, and up sale.
- Leadership has set and communicated goals.
- Staff has adequate product training.
- Backroom is well organized and clean.
- Staff can easily access product to refill.
- Damaged/out of date has a designated area.
Interior Safety and Security
- Store follows opening and closing protocols.
- Alarm has been tested and is in working order.
- Extra keys are kept in the safe and not left out.
- All door locks are in good working order.
- Staff is aware of fire evacuation plan and routes.
- Store leadership conducts regular safety meeting.
For more on conducting retail audits, see our comprehensive guide: