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Johnson Brothers Enters New York Market

January 19, 2017

Johnson Brothers is entering the New York market, shaking up a distribution tier that’s been dominated by two players—Empire Merchants and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits—for the past decade.

Johnson’s New York operation will be managed by industry veteran Eddy Rivera, formerly with E&J Gallo Winery. The distributor will operate in metro New York, Westchester County and Long Island.

The St. Paul, Minnesota-based Johnson is the country’s sixth-leading spirits and wine distributor, according to Shanken’s Impact Newsletter, with yearly revenue of nearly $2 billion. Including New York, it operates in 23 states. Earlier this week Johnson Bros. also entered the West Virginia market.

Empire has been New York’s top distributor for years, but Southern Glazer’s—the country’s leading distributor by a wide margin—has been closing the gap through the addition of new business. —Peter Zwiebach

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