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Liquor Expansion By Grocery Player Coborn’s Is Latest Move In Midwest Consolidation Game

December 13, 2013

The recent deal by Minnesota-based grocery chain Coborn’s to acquire five North Dakota liquor stores is the latest development in an upper Midwest market that’s been seeing some interesting expansion moves by major players.

In a transaction that closed earlier this week, Coborn’s acquired the liquor retail business of brothers Tom and John Miller, who operate four stores under the Captain Jack’s Liquor Land name, as well as a fifth location called Bill’s Liquor, in Bismarck and Landan, North Dakota. The Miller brothers, who were named Market Watch Leaders in 2004, will retire on January 1.

Coborn’s, based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, has annual revenues of more than $1.1 billion and operates 48 supermarkets under the Coborn’s and Cash Wise Foods banners in six states—Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. As North Dakota’s economy and population have thrived in recent years, Coborn’s has sought growth in the state. It already operates five Cash Wise Liquor stores in North Dakota, and this deal makes Coborn’s the state’s largest beverage alcohol retailer.

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