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

Los Angeles Retailer Wally’s Wine & Spirits Readies For Growth

June 19, 2018

Los Angeles-based luxury retailer Wally’s Wine & Spirits is set for big changes this summer. The 50-year-old beverage institution is now on track to debut its new 9,500-square-foot location in Santa Monica, California, in mid-July.

The new location eventually will replace the original Wally’s store in Westwood, which was founded in 1968 and will close later this year. The company’s Beverly Hills operation—an upscale retail-restaurant hybrid—debuted in 2014. The Santa Monica operation will be based on that concept.

Wally’s president and principal Christian Navarro took over Wally’s in 2013 with investors Paul and Maurice Marciano, founders of Guess Jeans, after founder Steve Wallace retired. Navarro describes his all-inclusive on- and off-premise concept as the wave of the future. “It reinvigorates people into retail,” Navarro says. “We’re thinking about retail in the 21st century. It’s a completely interactive, experiential retail dining model that we’ll use going forward.”

Future growth does indeed look likely. While Navarro and the Marciano brothers are in no rush, they’ve considered adding stores in New York City and a handful of international markets. The Wally’s venues appeal to high-end consumers who are willing to spend money for selection and service, and Navarro says he’ll have to find the right locations to accommodate that type of business model. Annual revenues for Wally’s are in the “upper eight figures,” Navarro says, and are led overwhelmingly by wine, which comprises 80% of total sales.—Laura Pelner

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