Why Adjusting Off-Prem Sales Strategies Have Helped Short’s

It’s been a much different world for beer sales since March when much of the US began lockdown procedures with the closing of bars and restaurants.

Short’s Brewing didn’t want to just sit back and wait until the world opened up again. They got the sales team to work in a new way.

“Relationships are key for us, so our sales team has been in touch with on- and off-premise accounts daily so they know we are here to support them,” explained Christa Brenner, the Michigan brewery’s Creative & Marketing Manager. During the Michigan stay-at-home order, POS departments were considered non-essential so that team from Short’s stepped up and helped with the printing of POS materials for in-store programs.

Those employees have not been going into the market so they are keeping in touch via text, call, or email.

“A lot of the conversations for the first couple weeks were just checking in and letting them know that we are here for them and want to support them in any way we can​,” she said.​ “We encourage our team to order takeout from accounts, and set up a program to reimburse our employees a percentage of their takeout bill if they ordered from a restaurant or bar affected by COVID.”

​Short’s also made sure to co-op out of date kegs that were at its distributors.

“In some cases, we are buying back kegs at full price to help them out too,” Brenner noted. “Overall, our beer is sent to distributors so fresh, that we are fortunate we do not have too many issues and will remain high quality for a couple more months. This really helped push the importance of sending very fresh products to distributors.”

​Also, the brewery’s inventory team worked hard with distributors to pull back order quantities and be smart about what was sent and when.

“It was a big team effort but overall it was very successful,” she said.

​Short’s is also working on a marketing program for ​its top​-​volume brand, Local’s Light, that ​was easy to implement with the buyers but encourages volume. ​(Read more here)​

​”​We wanted a program to be easy for the establishments since they have enough to worry about, and to help them bring in business during this strange time​,” Brenner said.​

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