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

News Briefs for August 15, 2013

August 15, 2013

Total Wine & More has signed a lease for a 17,310-square-foot space in Bloomington, Minnesota—marking its first outpost in the state—according to local press reports. Located at Southdale 494 Shopping Center, the new store is slated to open by the end of the year, pending city approvals. Potomac, Maryland-based Total Wine has more than 90 stores in 15 states, but its business is concentrated along both coasts—its move into Minnesota marks its first in the Midwest.

•The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has opened a new 10,000 square-foot retail store in Philadelphia. The new venue is located at 2040 Market Street and is double the size of the store it replaces at 1913 Chestnut Street. New features at the site include a staff wine specialist to conduct tastings, provide recommendations and answer customer questions, as well as an environmentally friendly design, with energy efficient lighting and 60% recycled-material shopping bags. The PLCB, which has been the target of a so-far unsuccessful privatization push in the state legislature, posted retail revenues of $2.17 billion in the year through June, up 4.5%.

•Virginia governor Bob McDonnell announced a new sales record for the state’s wine industry in its recently completed fiscal year. In the 12 months through June, sales of Virginia wine rose 5% to 511,000 cases, building on growth that’s seen the state’s wine business expand by nearly a quarter since 2010. Along with robust in-state sales, the governor said Virginia wines have been targeting markets like Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida and Washington, D.C. with increasing success. Currently tied with Texas as the fifth-largest winegrape-producing state, Virginia claims its wine industry contributes $750 million to the state economy annually.

•Lucas Bols has expanded distribution of its Bols Yogurt Liqueur nationwide. Bols has positioned the product (priced at $17.99 a 750-ml.) for consumption on its own or mixed with fresh fruits, fruit juices, soft drinks and other spirits, adding that it differs from other cream-based liqueurs in that it doesn’t curd when mixed with such ingredients. The yogurt liqueur was previously only available in Florida, California and Illinois. It joins a Bols range that includes 35 different flavored liqueur products.

•Montalvo Spirits Inc. has added Broken Heart gin to its U.S. distribution portfolio. Produced in Queenstown, New Zealand, Broken Heart is billed as a handcrafted, high-quality gin made with a blend of 11 botanicals. The new offering, which is currently awaiting label approval by the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau, is slated to roll out in New York, California and Florida later this year. Broken Heart joins Montalvo’s namesake Tequila brand—featuring Plata, Reposado and Anejo expressions priced between $40-$55—in the company’s spirits stable.

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