Five new realities of the liquor business
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.