Megha Duggal didn’t set out to open an anonymous liquor store. Instead, she wanted to create a retail concept that would build a strong connection with customers and appeal to a range of shoppers, from entry-level purchasers to connoisseurs, in New York City. In 2014, her wine and liquor store Broadway Spirits was born. 

Duggal says she designed the type of in-person and online experience she would want as a customer. As a result, the store has a welcoming, friendly environment, and is staffed by a passionate, dedicated team of customer service representatives, sales associates, and professional delivery drivers. Duggal found success with the venture. In 2019, just five years after opening, Broadway Spirits landed a spot on Beverage Dynamics magazine’s “Top 100” list of the country’s best retailers. And in July, the store was once again named to the 2020 list.

Offering delivery through Drizly, as well as other platforms, Duggal’s store now has the largest 60-minute delivery footprint in downtown Manhattan. We reached out to Duggal to understand how she stays competitive in a crowded market.

BevAlc Insights: When did you start offering delivery and why is that an important part of your business? 

Megha Duggal: We started when the store opened. I guess I would call myself a millennial, so I’ve always used delivery services like Seamless, Amazon, and Postmates. I figured that if I’m using those services, my customers are using them, too. I created my store for people who are similar to myself.

What percentage of your business happens through delivery?

It’s a huge portion. I work with many delivery platforms and I also have my own, so I’d say it’s about 30 percent of sales. 

Did your delivery business see a spike during the pandemic shutdown? 

Definitely. Right now we are seeing more people in the store, but in the beginning of the pandemic period, a lot of people did not want to come in. We were definitely a great option for online ordering and contactless delivery through Drizly. 

What prompted you to partner with Drizly?

When I was opening, I signed up with a few of the major delivery sites, including Drizly. I just wanted to get my name out there because the store was brand new. Being on multiple apps, more eyes see us because every delivery platform is doing some sort of marketing, and I don’t have a huge marketing budget myself. It’s helpful to have someone else to do that for you. Working with Drizly is good. From the beginning, I’ve always had good communication with the company. I don’t really communicate with most of the other platforms.

Are there any Drizly tools that you use to manage your business or optimize sales?

Want to grow your retail business?

Get sales-driving data and insights in your inbox every week.

I like the database and the inventory management functions because I can clearly see which products are showing in the system, and what’s not showing. Sometimes we run out of inventory and we can just hide those items, which is useful. That really helps compared to the other delivery sites that I work with. The gifting tool is also cool, and I love the shipping. We did a lot of shipping during the pandemic.

Are there any particular reports that you’ve found to be useful?

Drizly sends reports to one of my managers about our delivery personnels’ performance and our delivery times. That’s really helpful because we are open a lot of hours, and we have many drivers and different people managing them. It’s nice to have a report that puts everything together so nobody has to be watching 24 hours a day.

Have you done anything else to streamline your delivery operations? 

We recently separated our shipping department from our 60-minute delivery department, and that’s been an improvement. It was all mixed in before the pandemic and it was kind of hard to manage them together. Now we have one person who just handles shipping and everybody else does the delivery.

How do you go above and beyond with online sales and delivery to make sure that your customers are happy?

We’re nice to people. We have a good selection, so if something is not available we have something to replace it with, and we’re not constantly saying, “Oh, we don’t have that.” And we try to get all the deliveries out in less than 60 minutes. It’s pretty simple.