The smallest incorporated town in Colorado will soon be home to one of the state’s largest liquor stores. Molly’s Spirits, a 30,000 square foot space boasting 360 shelves of beer behind 60 doors (six of which will be devoted solely to make-your-own-six-packs), a massive bomber cave, and offering products from 200+ breweries both domestic and imported, will open its doors November 21st at in the Denver suburb of Lakeside. With around 35 staff members, the population of Molly’s will actually outnumber the population of Lakeside by 27.
Situated just south of Lake Rhoda, the body of water from which Lakeside Amusement Park and the eponymous municipality derive their names, Molly’s is a monument to beer, wine, and spirits. Its sheer enormity is only half the reason beer geeks and other alcohol aficionados should be aware of its existence, though. Molly’s is also a technological wonder.
The customer experience at Molly’s will be as futuristic as libation shopping gets. Check-outs featuring iPads? Molly’s has it. “11 65-inch screens that will host live feeds of in-store tastings, local brewery events, international wineries, and sporting events?” Molly’s has it. Electronic shelving tags for optimum readability and the capability to instantly revise prices “during a flash happy hour sale?” Molly’s has it. Customizable flavor profiles for those in the loyalty program what will “personalize the patron experience, from customizing flavor profiles, to providing suggestions based on buying behavior or taste notes?” Yep, Molly’s has that, too. This is what happens when A.I. gets into the hands of booze-hounds.
Regarding the TVs, the Molly’s programming will range from live, static feeds of, say, Great American Beer Festival to hosted interviews and behind-the-scenes looks at popular breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Molly’s will initially have only pre-recorded footage but, further along, the store plans to integrate in-store events with what’s shown on the TVs. For example, if a certain winery is being featured for a tasting, there may be a simultaneous live tour of said winery occurring on-screen.
Flavor profiling for the loyalty program will begin with staff recommendations. It will, however, further flesh-out by keeping track of customers’ purchasing history. Eventually, when enough transactions have been compiled, one’s personal flavor profiles will be accessible online and via in-store kiosks.
Despite all the technology, the Molly’s ambiance isn’t intended to be a building-sized Apple product—stark, imposing, uber-modern. To the contrary, the décor “is clean with notes of Colorado rustic.” Pastoral charms, a touch of Centennial State ruggedness, will off-set the multimedia elements.
It’s not only technological smarts that define Molly’s, it’s good, old-fashioned brain smarts, too. Indeed, the in-the-flesh assistance promises to be on par with its high-tech counterpart. The “product lineup is thoughtfully overseen by a team of longtime industry veterans, including Justin Savage, Director of Product and Merchandising, using a combination of market data and personal and professional knowledge.” This deliberate, expert attention compounded with a customer service foyer ensures the human element will remain very much alive.
The folks at Molly’s don’t want their store to be a get-in-get-out type of establishment. Truly, the management wants customers to make themselves at home: “Our hope is [to] convey our personality in a way that customers are drawn to not just shop, but actually spend time here,” says General Manager Kristen Michaud, “Molly’s will not just be a place to shop, but a place to experience, browse, learn, and maybe even meet a friend or two.”
One way customers may wile away the time is with an in-store tasting. Customers can belly-up at the circular slate countertop near the fireplace, indulge in a few samples, and, while Molly’s staff members will pour the drinks, one may expect representatives from the featured company to be on hand to answer questions and discuss their products. Most every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 7pm will see a tasting event but the official schedule will be available on the website, in store, and on the e-mail list.
In terms of mega-stores, Molly’s will fill the void between Argonaut and Applejack, becoming a new staple to the western Denver and eastern Lakewood market. But, in terms of integrating technology, knowledge, a welcoming atmosphere, and our favorite inebriants, Molly’s fills an even bigger void: a state-wide void, to be sure, and possibly a coast-to-coast void. For the tech-savvy and unhurried drunk, November 21st can’t come soon enough.