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Market Watch: Building Big In South Florida

February 19, 2021

As one of the largest liquor store chains in the greater Miami market, Mega Wine & Spirits has been trying to keep pace with the area’s growth. In the last six years, Mega has added nine stores, and is planning even more locations. It currently operates 14 units in South Florida—including one in Hialeah opened last year—with its reach extending from Coral Springs in Broward County down to Homestead, just north of the Florida Keys.

Mega was founded as Mega Discount Liquors in 2001. In 2014, the chain—then at five units—was purchased by Javier Macedo. Since then, Macedo—who is also the owner of Florida’s Crown Wine & Spirits chain—and his team have expanded the business substantially. Mega’s name has been changed in recent years to reflect its increased emphasis on wine.

“Our customer base is mostly Latin and most of our stores are located in Latin neighborhoods,” says Manuel “Manny” Garcia, who’s been with Mega since its inception and today serves as general manager. In addition to the Coral Springs location, a few of the stores are in more suburban neighborhoods like Weston and Pinecrest, where the clientele is a bit more diversified. The stores have been added through acquisitions of existing liquor stores and new licenses.

Mega’s stores range in size from 1,000-4,000 square feet, but tend to average around 3,000 square feet. The Doral location—at 4,000 square feet—has emerged as the chain’s flagship due mainly to its size and a recent 2,000-square-foot expansion that included adding a wine and spirits lounge.

Spirits comprise a whopping 65% of Mega’s sales, with wine at 15%, and beer and miscellaneous items each accounting for 10%. “We’re constantly bringing in new items and keeping up with the innovation—we try to be first in market with new products,” Garcia says, pointing to the likes of the recently released Flor de Caña 30-year-old rum ($1,300 a 750-ml.), of which Mega was an early merchant.

While Mega Wine & Spirits has certainly made its mark on the metro Miami wine and spirits scene in a relatively short period of time, the chain isn’t finished building its network of stores. At least one new store is planned for 2021, although Garcia declines to reveal the location. Beyond that, he adds, “We’d like to expand north. But for now, our focus is on the South Florida market.” Market Watch has more.—Terri Allan

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