Selling liquor in Texas was once calm, until it went on steroids

Five new realities of the liquor business

  1. Boundaries have evaporated. Strategically located stores that were relevant for decades have been made obsolete as 450 cities in Texas voted to go wet since the mid-2000s.
  2. Big players are branching out. Houston-based Spec’s and Maryland-based Total Wine & More have huge selections and multiple locations. Total Wine has also moved into San Antonio with two stores and will go to Austin next, with a store in Sunset Valley.
  3. Grocery and convenience stores want in. Whole Foods opened wine and beer bars in some stores, so shoppers can push their carts around drinking a glass of wine.
  4. Wal-Mart is forcing the issue. The Texas Legislature is considering bills to allow big publicly traded companies like Wal-Mart, Kroger and Costco to open liquor stores. Wal-Mart has filed a lawsuit filed against the state to force the issue.
  5. Costco thinks creatively. Costco isn’t waiting for Texas to change its rules. It hooked up with San Antonio-based WB Liquors and putting WB stores in Costcos across the state. The next one, coming soon — with its law-abiding separate entrance — is at Costco’s West Plano store on the North Dallas Parkway.

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