The pandemic effectively ended tours at breweries in 2020, also limiting fan access to their gift shops and swag. But now Molson Coors has upgraded its online stores with its digital future in mind.
Here’s the deal…
Whether you’re small neighborhood craft brewery or global beer maker like Molson Coors, beer merchandise is important. Yes it generates profits, but more importantly it builds a bond with its fans and promotes the brand.
Beer T-shirts and merch remain as in-demand as music swag and that demand may have even increased during the COVID-19 lockdowns which shut down brewery tours that often ended with gift shop purchases.
And just as the pandemic has advanced the growth of online bottle shops like Tavour, it also served as a wake-up call for Molson Coors who have taken their brewery gift stores online and moved them aggressively into the digital age.
After the pandemic temporarily shut down the Coors Brewery tour in Golden, Colorado, guest relations manager Michelle Aldava and her team continued to field phone inquiries from fans eager to buy a T-shirt or a hat. Pictures of merch were sent back and forth, but the process was pretty archaic…
But now those days of searching for inventory and taking pictures for fans are over, according to Beer & Beyond “as Coors Light and other Molson Coors brands have jumped fully into the digital age, launching online storefronts to satisfy fans’ demands for all sorts of merchandise.”
“The evolution from gift shop to online storefront was hastened by the pandemic,” says Kindra Loferski, guest relations manager for the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee…
“It required not just changing the way items were sold, but how the entire operation did business. Staffing had to be rethought to accommodate a rush of sales, and a growing inventory of items needed to be stored, packed and shipped, requiring additional space and manpower at brewery campuses.”
Leinenkugel’s new virtual store went online last March, Hamm’s and Miller Lite stores launched last winter, and Coors Light’s went online last month.
And they’ve all proven to be immensely popular, beating all sales and traffic expectations.