Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

Sams Wines And Spirits Former Owner Returns To Retailing With Chicago Start-Up Play

May 6, 2011

Brian Rosen, former owner of Chicago retailer Sam’s Wines & Spirits with father Fred and brother Darryl, has returned to retailing as a full-time consultant to Evolution Wines & Spirits, a Chicago-area start-up led by Indiana businessman Richard Salberg, who is 100%-owner of the operation.

Evolution launched in February and currently has one store in Northbrook, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. Leases have been signed for two more units to open in 2011, with their locations still undisclosed. Evolution’s plan is to be a mid-box player that outperforms larger competitors on service and selection while still competing on price. The stores, which are just over 4,000 square feet in size, will each carry around 2,000 SKUs of wines, 1,000 SKUs of spirits and 500 SKUs of craft beers. “My goal is to get this group of mid-sized wine stores up—and to get back to the roots of retailing,” Rosen said. “Big box retailers have lost touch with the consumer.”

The Rosen family sold control of Sam’s to private equity firm Arbor Investments in May 2007. Fred and Darryl left the business, but Brian stayed on as president under Arbor, retaining a 20% stake. He departed in December 2008. Sam’s was acquired by Chicago retailer Binny’s Beverage Depot in late 2009, and its two stores were rebranded as Binny’s units.

Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.

Get your first look at 2019 data and 2020 projections for the wine and spirits industries. Order your 2020 Impact Databank Reports. Click here.

Previous :  Next :