Store Wants to Make a Contribution to the Community
By Keemia Zhang
Total Wine & More celebrated the grand opening of their 24,000 square-foot Culver City location, formerly Orchard Supply Hardware, last Thursday. The store retails a variety of affordable and premium products, bringing a selection of 8,000 brands of wine, 2,500 beers, and 3,000 spirits to the community, as well as a cigar section
“We strive for an excellent customer experience, better than you’ll find in any other retailer in the country,” remarked CEO Troy Rice. “We also have the best prices you will find anywhere; we have the best service,” Total Wine emphasizes an engaging approach to interacting with the public, with educated staff and community outreach.
“The management team has all done a California wine trip, where they spent a week meeting the producers in Napa and Sonoma and becoming educated on the product [..] we invest so much more in our team in terms of learning, training, and development.” Total Wine Professionals (TWP) take seven tests to become certified in their area and offer frequent learning sessions in Total Wine’s fifty-two-seat classroom on winemaking and winetasting.
Civic organizations are permitted to use the space free of charge. Total Wine & More has also partnered with the Culver City Education Foundation, with a portion of their opening-week wine sales being donated. Rice has stressed a community-based approach to TotalWine’s business practice, with an effort to support local brands. “We believe in local matters; if you’re from this community, you probably know about [these brands], and if you’re from this community and don’t know, we want to tell you about it.”
Total Wine also keeps track of the most popular kinds of alcohol sold within their locations and tailors their selection based on the community’s tastes. San Jose, for instance, has more tequila, while Fremont is a “heavy scotch store.” The chain also offers a Concierge with more personalized recommendations and specialized cocktails. “When you think about a Nordstrom or Bloomingdale, they really know that customer, what they like, and what they buy. That’s what they do.”
Rice’s personal recommendations for the first-time customer include the 1858 Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles Wine, Wolcott Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and Samuel Adams’ Oktoberfest Beer. “ I would take advantage of a seasonal beer right now … It’s still a little warm, but it puts you right in the mood for fall.”
Total Wine & More is open for shopping, tasting, pickup, and delivery at 11441 Jefferson Blvd, from 9:00a.m to 10:00 p.m.