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Skurnik Wines & Spirits Sees Strong Growth As Its Footprint Expands

February 25, 2020

Skurnik Wines & Spirits has benefited from steady growth for more than 30 years. Revenue topped $130 million in 2018, and reached more than $145 million last year. In all, the company represents roughly 860 brands and moves about 800,000 cases annually. Wine comprises most of the company’s inventory at 716 brands and 715,000 9-liter cases annually, followed by spirits at 105 brands and 55,000 cases, and sake at 43 brands and 30,000 cases.

Skurnik serves as a direct importer and distributor for 359 wine brands in its eight distribution markets, and is the national importer for an additional 182 wines in states beyond its distribution footprint. Furthermore, the company distributes an additional 323 wines and spirits, spanning domestic labels and products brought in by other importers.

“Our fascination with the beverage industry and the passion we have for wine and spirits continues to grow, and that’s what drives us,” says CEO Michael Skurnik. Michael’s brother Harmon, who serves as president, adds that wine continues to be the most significant part of the company’s business. “Wine has always been the most important aspect of what we do, and it remains that way even though spirits are our fastest-growing segment,” he explains. “Wine is 87% of our revenue.”

Michael Skurnik started the eponymous distribution business in September 1987, and Harmon came on two years later. The duo began their distributorship in New York with six California wine labels, and domestic wines remain the largest chunk of the portfolio by revenue today. The company made a major investment in spirits about seven years ago, and diversified into sake three years ago. Both segments are growing rapidly. The Skurniks’ distribution footprint has expanded significantly in recent years, with company adding distributorships in four states since 2017. Skurnik Wines & Spirits now has a distribution presence in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

“We didn’t start out with a grand design,” Michael says. “We’ve managed to diversify our business interests extremely well on both the supply and distributor sides.” Harmon agrees, adding that he and his brother’s biggest assets have been their ability to curate great wines and spirits and their knack for hiring the right people to help manage and grow the business. Market Watch has the full story.—Laura Pelner

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