Properties & Leasing

Uncorked: A wine shop owner’s approach to energizing customer engagement

Posted by: Josh Sommer Josh Sommer
on November 6, 2013
SHOWTIME: Kimco tenant Mitch Ancona breaks a Guinness World Record in front of cheering friends, family, and customers

SHOWTIME: Kimco tenant Mitch Ancona breaks a Guinness World Record in front of cheering friends, family, and customers

Mitch Ancona’s approach to engaging with his customers is as effervescent as the hundreds of bottles of champagne he stocks at Ancona’s Wines & Liquors. In fact, champagne was the centerpiece of his most recent effort to delight the community.

In September, he set out to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the Most Bottles of Champagne Opened with a Sabre in Under a Minute. Mitch topped the record by popping 34 bottles (watch him here), all of which were enjoyed for Sunday brunch with over 100 friends, family members, and customers.

WELL-MATCHED: Ancona’s Wines & Liquors is a strong complement to Kimco’s Wilton River Park

WELL-MATCHED: Ancona’s Wines & Liquors is a strong complement to Kimco’s Wilton River Park

But, as we learned when we interviewed Mitch, he ignites a passion for wines and spirits across other channels, too. His blog, for instance, The Last Great Glass, takes a deep dive into fine wines, liquors, and craft beers for like-minded enthusiasts. In the offline arena, he holds events such as wine dinners and in-store educational sessions to build stronger relationships with his customers.

These efforts have helped the third-generation business owner grow Ancona’s significantly over the past couple of years. After operating a successful location in Ridgefield, Conn., for several years, Mitch helped pave the way for making nearby Wilton a wet town, and opened a second store in 2011 in Kimco’s Wilton River Park.

WIDE COLLECTION: Ancona’s Wines & Liquors offers some 2,600 wines, 500 beers, and 150 single malt scotches

WIDE COLLECTION: Ancona’s Wines & Liquors offers some 2,600 wines, 500 beers, and 150 single malt scotches

Opening five miles away in Wilton was a strategic decision, enabling Mitch to own a greater share of the market. Sales volume at the Wilton store has nearly matched that of the Ridgefield location in about two years since launch. Wilton River Park is a strong property overall; the March 2013 acquisition has been a quality addition to our portfolio.

Listen to Mitch talk about all these topics and more in our interview. You can also jump ahead to certain topics using the index below, or read the transcript.

  • 1:10 Overview of Connecticut’s liquor laws
  • 2:30 Mitch’s experience opening a liquor store in Wilton
  • 4:47 Mitch’s marketing strategy behind his blog
  • 6:48 The social media platform generating the most lift for Mitch
  • 7:32 How Mitch beat the Guinness Book of World Records
  • 10:04 The visibility generated from Mitch’s record-setting feat
  • 11:16 How Mitch is providing an engaging in-store experience now and through the holidays

This has been an installment of StoreFront, an interview series with leaders of successful retail businesses. For more interviews, visit the StoreFront page. To learn how you can be featured, email us. We’d love to hear from you.

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