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Centennial Projects Record Sales of $250 Million As It Completes Integration of Majestic

June 17, 2011

Dallas-based Centennial Fine Wine and Spirits, which acquired the Majestic Liquor Store chain in April for a reported $30 million, plans to open four new stores and projects total company revenues of $250 million this year. The integration of 32-unit Majestic into 35-unit Centennial has “gone much better than anticipated,” Centennial president Greg Wonsmos told Shanken News Daily. “We now have the entire Majestic operation—all 32 stores and their warehouses—on board. And we’ve retained well over 90% of the employees.”

The Majestic deal has catapulted Centennial into the top ranks among Texas beverage alcohol retail powerhouses such as Houston-based 90-unit Spec’s and Austin-based 66-unit Twin Liquors. Centennial now has 67 units and five warehouses. “The acquisition gave us a stronger presence in Tarrant County (including Fort Worth) and access to new markets in the Lubbock area in West Texas and in East Texas,” said Wonsmos. “It’s certainly benefiting us in terms of buying power and operating margins.”

Describing the Texas economy as sluggish, Wonsmos said Centennial had anticipated more robust growth but was faring better due to its aggressive growth plan. The four new stores are scheduled to open before the holiday season, all in the 6,000-7,000 square foot range. Two will be under the Centennial banner, one in Hebron in Denton County at the end of this month and another in Westlake in Tarrant County before the holiday season. Two new Majestic units will also be opened. One is a leased property in Trophy Club, an affluent suburb of Fort Worth that recently voted to go wet in a local referendum. That store is slated to open by Labor Day. Another is in a newly constructed building in Fort Worth and is scheduled to open by October 1.

The Majestic deal came just nine months after Centennial’s longtime owners, the J.W. Vandeveer family, sold Centennial to a new ownership group including majority owner Douglas Miller (a well-known Dallas oil and gas industry executive) and others including Wonsmos and various Centennial executives. “Last March, we sat down with our new management group and developed a five-year growth plan,” Wonsmos said. “A few days before Christmas we were able to finalize the Majestic deal, thereby exceeding our five-year plan in only nine months.”

As for trends in his market, Wonsmos said spirits represent the strongest growth. Some 62% of Centennial’s revenues are from spirits sales, followed by 17% from wine, 16% from beer and 5% miscellaneous. Wonsmos said he sees growth in super-premium spirits, a key indicator of consumer confidence, with vodka and Tequila doing exceptionally well. In wine, Centennial has enjoyed growth with its California, Argentina, South Africa and Spain categories. “There are problems with our French wine portfolio and Australian wines to some degree,” he notes. “In beer, we’re moving our focus to imports and craft beers.”

In addition to the four stores scheduled to open this year, Centennial plans to launch another store in newly wet Lowry Crossing in Collin County. Centennial just closed on the land purchase and is planning for a February 2012 opening.

Greg Wonsmos was named a Market Watch Retail “Leader” in 2000 and “Retailer of the Year” in 2007.

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