Case Study

Driving Up Liquor Store Profitability

The Problem

When Star Liquors opened in 1994, the thought of a material handling solution for excess inventory was nothing more than an afterthought.  The original plan was to simply carry any overflow cases down a narrow staircase into the basement.  Over the course of fifteen years and countless trips carrying 30-40 pound cases of liquor up and down the stairs, this repetition finally got old.  Realizing the inefficiency and inherent safety risks, the owners at Star Liquors knew it was time to make a change.

Since an overwhelming majority of their beers, wines, and spirits are packaged in glass bottles, any potential solution for Star Liquors had to account for smooth and safe transitions of their inventory to minimize any chance for damage.  Additionally, a retrofitted solution into a space that wasn’t originally designed for a freight elevator presented spatial challenges. That’s when they reached out to the experts at Custom Industrial Products to help solve their problem.

“We’re able to get bulk discounts on our inventory now that we have the lift. I love that I don’t have to carry boxes up and down the stairs anymore.” – Carol Davis, Store Manager of Star Liquors.

The Solution 

After consulting with the Star Liquors team, CIP presented a workable solution that included a straddle-style VRC with a right-angle motor along with soft-start/soft-stop controls.  The soft-start/soft-stop control allows for smooth rises and stops for the lift and protects against any jarring as the VRC approaches each landing.  The right-angle motor was the perfect solution to the limited width available for the drive header, and the straddle design ensured all pieces of the lift could be safely and easily maneuvered into position for installation.

Now seven years after the VRC installation, store manager Carol Davis says, “It’s a lot safer, and it allows us to use the basement a lot more.”  The extra space in the basement has provided a fortuitous boon to this small business nestled in the Big Horn Mountains.

“We’re able to get bulk discounts on our inventory now that we have the lift.  And I love that I don’t have to carry boxes up and down the stairs anymore.”  These volume discounts have not only allowed Star Liquors to offer more competitive pricing for their customers, but it also directly contributes to raising their bottom line.

“I also appreciate the relative simplicity of the lift,” says Carol.  “In seven years, I’ve only had a couple of issues; and those were self-induced.  I was able to work through those with the Tech Support team over the phone.”