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Sherry-Lehmann Expands Into California, Opening New Operation In Los Angeles Market

November 3, 2016

New York City-based Sherry-Lehmann is entering the California market. The renowned wine and spirits retailer is establishing a West Coast branch in El Segundo, California, in the greater Los Angeles area. The new operation includes a 20,000-square-foot, temperature-controlled fulfillment center that will become operational on December 1, as well as a 12,000-square-foot retail store and tasting/event space that’s slated to open in early 2017.

“After 82 years in business, we’re bringing the Sherry-Lehmann brand into new markets,” said the company’s president and CEO Chris Adams. “We want to build upon our reputation as a luxury wine and spirits retailer by replicating our skills on a national scale.”

Los Angeles was chosen because of Sherry-Lehmann’s long-standing customer base there, Adams said. El Segundo is just a few miles south of Los Angeles International Aiport (LAX), and is adjacent to Manhattan Beach. “It’s an up-and-coming community that’s popular with artists and accessible to the broader market,” Adams said. “Its residents want access to wine at a certain level—and that’s what we’ll provide.” Proximity to LAX will help facilitate service to Sherry-Lehmann’s national customers, Adams added.

Both the new retail store and tasting space will seek to replicate the look and feel of the New York store, Adams said. “In our overall thinking about how to gain a competitive advantange in the marketplace, we opted to focus on the strength of the Sherry-Lehmann brand,” he noted. “So what’s driving this expansion is the brand—and our ability to reach customers and distinguish ourselves as high-end retailers. And with expansion comes even greater opportunity in terms of allocations and other things. That’s true for this move in California, and will be true of other markets where we may choose to go.”

The new California fulfillment center complements the Manhattan store’s 65,000-square-foot warehouse, which is located in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. (Inventory also is kept in the store’s temperature-controlled cellar below Park Avenue.) “The first piece in this project has been the logistics in regard to our inventory at the new warehouse, and being able to satisfy our customers in California and across the country. We’ve made significant investments in IT, the warehouse, staffing and our call center.”

Adams left no doubt that the long-term goal is to continue moving into new territories. “Clearly we see an opportunity to expand the Sherry-Lehmann brand nationally, and this represents a first step,” said Adams. “Servicing the customer is our strength, and those skills are translatable in a number of markets.” —David Fleming

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