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

News Briefs for August 9, 2012

August 9, 2012

Total Wine & More is bolstering its presence in Southern California with the launch of its latest Orange County store, slated to open August 16. Located in Laguna Hills, California, the new outpost will offer Total Wine’s wide selection of more than 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers, including rare labels, microbrews and regional products. The Laguna Hills location is the chain’s 83rd store and its 10th in California. Likewise, retail competitor BevMo has received city council approval for a new store in the San Diego suburb of Santee. According to local media reports, the Santee store will open in an existing 9,500-square-foot space and join 10 other brand units in San Diego County. BevMo currently operates 118 stores, 106 of which are in California.

•Young’s Market Co. is set to open a new “express store” location on August 16 in the Ballard section of Seattle, its second such store in Washington state. Young’s express stores aren’t open to the public, but offer alcohol licensees access to Young’s wine and spirits brands, as well as bar supplies and other items, at discounted rates. Young’s operates 15 express stores across California, Hawaii and Washington, where, in addition to the new Seattle store, it also recently opened a unit in Tacoma.

•Retailers in Minnesota say distributor consolidation, lower distributor stock levels and the tight California grape supply have led to a spurt of “outages” of popular wine brands lately, reports Twin Cities newspaper the Star Tribune. Retailers named brands like Mionetto Prosecco and Jacob’s Creek (both handled by the Southern/J.J. Taylor joint venture) as well as some California brands as being in short supply over the summer, as distributors have opted to maintain lower stock levels during the difficult economic period. Some local retail players added that, in the short-term, shifts of key brands among distributors—such as those of Deutsch Family (which recently moved to Southern from Bellboy Corp.) and Ste. Michelle (which recently moved to Southern from Wirtz)—have caused supply hiccups. In May, Southern/J.J. Taylor—which has projected 2012 revenues of $125 million—was set to make further investments to its infrastructure, including plans for a new state-of-the-art distribution center. Johnson Brothers and Wirtz Beverage are among Minnesota’s other key wine wholesalers.

 

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