Gervasi’s Strategy For Growing Its Gift Shop

Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Ohio will debut its new 2,000-square-foot marketplace boutique gift shop later this month, a move CEO and General Manager Scott Swaldo said was necessary to display its growing product line, which includes a portfolio that has expanded sizably since it opened in 2010.

Gervasi’s a little bigger than your average winery — it’s set on 55 acres and includes restaurants, a hotel, a distillery and a brewery in addition to its winery and estate vineyards.

The expansion connects the existing building through the store’s north window and is scheduled to open on April 25.

Swaldo said that when the original wine and spirits merchandising space was built 12 years ago, they had just eight wines, but their portfolio has since expanded to include more than 20, not including the line of spirits Gervasi also produces.

“Our new display is not only properly sized but allows for us to present our products in beautifully designed and built custom cabinetry, with extensive LED lighting to really feature the products and present them in an organized way from sweet to dry, light to full bodied, etc.,” Swaldo told Vintner Magazine. “While our staff will continue to assist guests, the merchandise presentation allows for the customer to more easily understand the product options on their own. We also created a ‘feature wall’ display that will allow us to feature new releases, special products, and provide branding that some may even find a great photo op for social media.”

Swaldo said Gervasi’s on-site hotel, which now averages 100 guests on the property daily, has also driven a change in what products the winery offers for sale. An attentive staff has contributed to their inventory’s evolution.

“These guests seek mementos, special gifts, and often are willing spend more on unique and premium gifts and products to take home or share with others as part of their getaway experience,” Swaldo said. “Our buyers — through some trial and error and listening to guests — have learned what they want and what works. We now carry more luxury items, jewelry, and special items for both women and men that these shoppers seek. 

“The expansion project is also a transformation project in that we’re not just adding space but totally transforming the look and feel of the store with a more sophisticated look and feel … white walls, black and gold accents, mostly new display furniture, all new lighting, and more.  I should also mention that GV branded product is also very popular — people want items with our brand and we’re expanding that product line as well.”

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