Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics July-Aug 2014

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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6 Beverage Dynamics • July/August 2014 Executive Vice President and Group Publisher Charles Forman Tel: 845-262-1041 Fax: 845-445-6674 email: Editor-in-Chief Richard Brandes Tel: 212-353-3832 Fax: 212-353-8214 email: Contributing Editors Dan Berger Harriet Lembeck Melissa Niksic F. Paul Pacult Robert Plotkin Michael Sherer Senior Regional Sales Manager Bruce Kostic Tel: 203-855-8499, ext. 215 Senior Regional Sales Manager Mark Marcon Tel: 248-761-6231 Senior Regional Sales Manager Debbie Rittenberg Tel: 215-860-0306 Art Director Adam Lane Production Director Cherri Perschmann Tel: 763-383-4400, ext. 2425 Senior Research Analyst Adam Rogers LIST RENTAL MeritDirect, Jim Scova email: Tel: 914-368-1012 REPRINTS Circulation and Audience Development Manager Robin Cooper email: Sr VP/Audience Development Joanne Juda-Prainito Sr VP/Finance & Operations Gerald Winkel VP/Beverage Group Amy Collins Senior Art Director Dodi Vessels RETAILER EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Charles Bailes III ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Orlando,FL Ralph Bondon Berbiglia's, Kansas City, MO David Breitstein Duke of Bourbon, Canoga Park, CA Jim Shpall Applejack Liquors, Wheat Ridge, CO Hal Gershman Happy Harry's Bottle Shop, Grand Forks, ND Ron Junge Brown Derby Stores, Springfi eld, MO Ted Farrell Haskell's, Minneapolis, MN Charles Sonnenberg Frugal MacDoogal's, Nashville, TN Beverage Dynamics is published by Specialty Information Media Editorial and executive offi ces at 17 High St., 2nd Fl., Norwalk, CT 06851 Telephone: 203-855-8499 Fax: 203-855-9446 Editor's NOTE DISRUPTING THE DISRUPTERS "DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION" is the latest catch phrase to be sweeping through business culture. It emanates, essentially but not totally, from Silicon Valley, and refers to the creation of businesses that, in offering a new platform for various goods and services, result in the dismantling of traditional businesses that preceded it, which offered the same or similar goods and services. For ex- ample, you can think of as a disruptive innovator, for its approach to book retailing has had a profound effect on the number of brick-and-mortar bookstores throughout the U.S. Indeed, its approach to the retailing of general merchandise is having a profound effect on the entire retail landscape across the U.S. Or, you can think of the introduction of the Apple iPhone as a disruptive product, since it is transforming the way that people communicate and conduct commerce. [Just look around any mall or city street in America, and see how many people have their heads down, trolling on their smartphones, versus how many people have their heads up, looking where they are going.] Obviously, the ongoing demise of traditional print journalism — in the form of newspapers and magazines — falls into this category, as digital equivalents…or no real equivalents at all…take their place. An interesting article by Jill Lepore, in a recent issue of The New Yorker magazine, sheds light on this phenomenon, where everyone seems to think that we've entered a new era of "disrupting or being disrupted." Indeed, she points out that the leading proponents of disruption suggest that even successful companies need to be in a state of constant disruptive innovation so that they are not devoured by as-yet-unseen competitors. In her analysis, Ms. Lepore casts a critical eye on the current fascination with disruption theory, which she notes has derived its popularity mainly from "The Innovator's Dilemma," a book published in 1997 by Clayton W. Christensen. In debunking many of the examples given in Christensen's book, Lepore contends that disruptive innovation can sometimes be catastrophic; one need only look at the fi nancial engineering leading up to the economic crisis of 2008. And, she notes, the disrupters sometimes replace the disrupted company or industry with an inferior product that has mass appeal. Still, there is no denying that the technological advances of the past 30 years have caused huge changes to our economy. Some changes have been incremental improvements, some have radically altered things, and some have barely moved the needle of progress. So, what does disruptive innovation have to do with beverage alcohol retailing? Well, just think about the effect that big box outlets have had on the business and the power that large chains now wield in the marketplace. You can also look to the success of those retailers who have embraced new technologies and social media, to get closer to their customers and increase their effi ciencies. The basic point is one that most retailers already know: you can't remain static; you have to keep looking for ways to improve your store and the services you provide to customers. That's a winning strategy for disrupting the disrupters. Richard Brandes Editor-in-Chief

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